Thursday, December 31, 2009

What The Year Hath Wrought

I glanced back through my photos, to get an idea of what changes had come with the year. I was shooting for the funny and odd, and intending to post a few along that line. Somewhere along the way, my mood changed from humorous to musing. I dove back toward humor...

And yet... I had to shake my head at seeing the changes of a year morph out on small faces. Those faces mark the year indelibly. Those faces shift and shape into different people in a year. It is bittersweet and must cause many a mother to swell inside with that potent mixture of tender remembrance and vague longing. All the cliches are true. We cannot help but say them and cannot help but live them. Excuse me while I wax cliche-ish...

We cheer and smile at every marker of growth, and thrill at their delight. They all think they're "almost as tall as Mommy!" And the days go by, the changes come, we roll forward to the next big thing in their small lives.

And yet... in the secret heart of every mother is a wish. A wish to freeze that one tiny moment, that one favorite stage, that one cherished achievement, that one sweetest cheek. Sometimes we see them as they happen, those moments. Other times it's in restrospect that we breathe in and hold that memory, colored with the faint tinge of regret at its loss.

It seems that's the way of children. We push them to grow and pull them to stay, never quite sure which part is better. And this is the way of parents, to realize this paradox in turn, this knowledge that cannot be given, only shared. So we share a moment, at the tip of the 2009 tail, and I'm glad to set aside the silly and savor the sentimental.

(The silly will be coming right back at me, 'ere I leave this desk. :))

In my mother's book of skills I note that this year brought Phoenix from the art of the pincer grasp to the magic of the spoken word. This year brought Jadyn the art of detailed coloring in the lines, with a fine, skilled touch. This year brought Isabella the art of writing her letters anywhere and everywhere in assorted sequence. And this year brought Cole the art of multiplication and long division. Lifelong skills each, necessary for progress along the stepping stones.

The past year's babies:

Mr. Ham Sandwich delights in rabbit-earing anything that doesn't move.

Hats are always fashionable when carrying a blaster and a guitar.

Chasing those first Cheerios around the tray, Phoenix at 7 months.

Good night girls and good night boys. Good night toys. Good night babies you have been. Good night world on which you spin.
Good night friends.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twelve Page 2009 Wrap-up

Ha! Gotcha.
More like a 12 second wrap-up. Ah, 2009.

Ah, Christmas.

I don't even know where to start, it's been such a long week. Should I start with the yule log that Isaiah's dog left on our carpet on Christmas morning? Should I start with how lame Santa was with wrapping this year? Surely I should start with how many types of drinks my fish - I mean family enjoyed during their 2.5 day stay.

Yes. Let's start with Christmas morning and the delicious mimosas we enjoyed. I will quote myself, and please hear this in a loud voice, accompanied by a giant grin:

"We should do this every Sunday!"

Bear in mind, it was not Sunday.

Bear in mind that no breakfast had been prepared yet, nor was it on the near-horizon.

Bear in mind that my Mom took her *first* nap at 10am.

Ah. It was a good morning. Mom & I deliberately yet capably whipped up a breakfast casserole that really soaked up the sloshy bits. I will share it with you, as it is tasty & requires little attention to detail. Tater tots, eggs & milk, cheese, turkey bacon. Done.

Santa had been a bit on the lazy side the night before, as he couldn't hold his liquor then either. By about the 3rd child, he decided wrapping was not entirely necessary, and that just setting presents out with tags would do just fine. Santa did take a household poll, which, upon reflection could be a bit skewed. Since those polled grew up in households that did not exactly celebrate Santa, or know anything about North Pole etiquette... (namely, me!)

Yet! The small denizens were thrilled and did not even comment on the haphazard and/or nonexistent wrapping! Much exclaiming and squealing over desired items was heard! A successful day was had.
It was good to have my mom, brothers and significant others here. My family had fun laughing and giving each other a hard time. True to form. The answer to every charade acted out: Isaiah or mullet. Or both. Heh. The kids enjoyed getting to know Susan a bit more, because as Jeremy put it "They think you're one of them." (Susan is a petite darling.) It's the first time we have all spent a Christmas together in a long time. Mom says she enjoyed having us all in one room, but the underlying sentiment must have been: I'd forgotten how much ya'll pick on each other. Good times.
I'll leave you with 2 quick shots. Merry new year and all that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Week miscellaneous

Waving the plague flag! Arggh, mateys! No, wait, lowering the flag. Ack! Wrong - flag up, flag up! No, no, sorry, really - everything is okay.
All right. Let's just leave the plague flag at half mast.
Poor Cole was hit with a bug, but it's been 24 hours and no one else is falling. Cross your fingers, sit on your thumbs, and smile really big. Plagues avoid smiles. I think. And it's hard to think, with all this smiling. My cheeks ache. Wellness, wellness, wellness! Ommm...

I hope you will abide a day without another Disney tale, as I break in with a current event update. There are a couple of good stories left, & I'll try to get them posted this week.

My Mom and brothers and significant others are arriving on Thursday! Yippee! This will be the first Christmas we have all been together, well... - ever! Usually Jeremy & Susan are other places. I like to think that they will thank me for forcing them to visit. I like to think they will love these babies and force us to leave, just so they can enjoy them on their own. I like to think - oh wait. Clearly the smiling has made me think crazy thoughts.

They are coming so I can enjoy them!

And I am excited in the way that only a housebound mother staring down the face of a few long weeks of school vacation can be excited. Visit! Chat! Imbibe!
I love company at Christmas. That is one of the most lonely parts of living away from a hometown.
Christmas visiting was a ritual. We would go out for a ride, stop here and there, and visit friends and family. It's a country thing too, I guess. City people tend to over-think and over-plan and consider just "dropping in "to be rude, unless it's a neighbor or a very close friend.
I have fallen into that city way, and it's frankly lonely!

So family visiting is exciting and easy. Because, hey - they already know me, they already know it's going to be loud and fun and a bit messy here, and they already know I am not Chef B. I am Chef-Mix-A-Drink-B!

Cheers to you! As I get to the end of this post, Cole has risen from the couch declaring himself better.
Let's believe!
Clap your hands, clap your hands if you believe...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Disney by Night

Their first glimpse of the Magic Kingdom was at night.

It was bedecked in all its holiday finery, and an excited crowd awaited Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade. Music rocked up and down Main Street from loudspeakers. A gigantic, glittering Christmas tree welcomed all to the Kingdom. They couldn't stop their little heads from turning every which way, just to take in all the sights.

Minutes passed slowly as they anticipated Mickey & Minnie's arrival on the Christmas float. And then.... there they were! Screaming, squealing, wide-eyed grins ensued! The Parade was on. Bands marching, Seven Dwarfs dancing, Tin Soldiers stomping, Snow White and the Prince twirling. Each float brought familiar characters to life and even the grown-ups grinned and tapped their feet to the music. Cinderella's castle glistened nearby, with millions of tiny lights. It drew their attention like a flock of tiny fireflies, and eyes turned to it time and again.

Complimentary hot cocoa and cookies filled bellies small and large, and warded off the cold night air. Well-loved friends came to life, and the wonderland of lights and music dazzled eyes and ears. It was a sparkling, auspicious beginning for the coming week.

The snoozing toddler awakened to catch the end with bleary, wondering eyes. He had fallen asleep at dusk, being strolled through the crowd. His eyes fluttered open to find he had been transported to a sparkling world of activity and music!

Small heads soon began to bob with exhaustion, and even a Mommy bobble-head could be seen by the end. It was passing 9pm, and the Mommy had been transported from a 5am morning in Atlanta, to the twinkling night-time Kingdom of Mickey and His Consorts. (Isabella & I obviously display the normal sense of tiredness that people commonly have after this sort of busy day. Jadyn is clearly running on a Minnie & Snow White high!)

Disney and Christmas... a beautiful combination.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Disney in short


We're back!!

I have only a second to post, and a few quick pictures to share for your viewing pleasure.

We had an absolutely magical time, and I would do it again in an instant. Period. Hands down.

The girls were utterly star-struck to meet Snow White... and she asked Cole if he would be the handsome Prince and rescue her. Adorable!

We love you Uncle Dennis! Sing it loud kids!

Much more to come - I {happened} to volunteer for the PreK Christmas Party today, so I'm off and running already. In-depth Disney review is on the docket though.
Missing The Magic

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

That Caterpillar

You know the one. The famous one from the books, that is always very hungry. I think it's here. Inside my children. Either that, or all the food I pack for lunches and school snacks is not being eaten. They arrive home utterly famished, and continue to ask for refills until I call it quits & chase them out of the kitchen.

I just checked the fruit bowl, and they ate through an entire bunch of bananas & half a bag of apples - and that was just for "seconds." You know, after the good stuff, the cracker products. I attempt to stop the locusts by telling them "That's it. If you're still hungry, have fruit."

"Oh," they seem to say, rubbing their hands together - "...we thought you'd never ask!"

And that's when I thought about the caterpillar. Looking at the empty cracker boxes and banana peels, and half-gnawed apples strewn about the kitchen.

I know what this means.

It means: get ready to shop for clothes {again} because they are fixing to grow out of everything they own.
Please enjoy this brief intermission of leaf-scattering photos from last week. (cue elevator music.)

On the preparation front, I am ready for action. This time I have a new tactic. Everything will be washed and ready for tomorrow - and I will get in The Zone and pack it all up tomorrow, all at once. Tomorrow. The day before we leave. Eek. I just glanced down at my handy List, and it is telling me to find the binoculars, see if old camcorder battery fits in new camcorder, and charge camera batteries.
Better jump on that while I remember.
I'll try to check-in before the Big Departure!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cherubic Choir

Packing List? Check.
To Do List? Check.
Worry? No.
Mild apprehension? Easily fixed. (glug, glug, glug...)
Airline baggage regulations? Check.
Small portable pharmacy? Yes, yes, check, and give me something harder to plan for.

I'm thinking and prepping and readying to pack. It takes a lot of my concentration to prepare for this adventure. I should have been a girl scout. It's a challenge to have the myriad of supplies ready for any child of 4 to require. But, oh the pay-off, when I reach into that backpack with just the thing. Oh, yes. There is a spousal smirk & a tip of my head. It's really the only time I'm clever these days, in the prep department. I live for that tip of the hat some days.

So imagine my loss of focus, when - in the midst of my list-making and (most importantly) thinking - I kept getting beseeched to solve Sibling WWIII again and again. And imagine my pleasure when I closed the back door behind them all.
And then - stick with me, I know you are up to the imaginative task - imagine the look on my face when I heard a cherubic chorus outside the window.

They were perched on chairs, slides and see-saws and they were chanting.

"I hate my mommy. I hate my mommy. I hate my mommy!"

I stared.

I fumed.

I grinned.

I waved through the window, like Ms. America on parade - and went back to my list.

I'm sure they'll love this story one day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Granny Was Right

My Granny always told me to put the baby in a playpen, if I wanted to get anything done.

And she was right.

I got a LOT done today...

I'm only sorry it took me so long to listen.

Do they make these things any bigger?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blue Ridge

Going home, to a surrogate home, is often as rich in memory and love as an actual home.

Yesterday, we went home to Blue Ridge. We spent the day with our friends, on the creek, in a place I have been going to since I was a child.

My children ran to the creekside, and my mind's eye replaced them with a glimpse of myself
and my brothers.

Running along that creek, at different bends throughout the years, we visited as the Boyd Family moved along the creek with each new cabin they built. The anticipation as our car pulled up yesterday echoed the remembered thrill of years ago, as we finally arrived after hours of driving. This place has a special peace about it that is a combination of the beautiful land and the beautiful people that live on it. These friends are woven throughout our lives, in a happy tangle of memories and shared experiences. Our children will build the 3rd generation of shared family friendship. Tom & Naomi Boyd started as my parent's friends, became our friends, and presided over our marriage on an NC mountain. Just as it should be.

Tom blessed the Thanksgiving meal with a prayer, and touched our hearts as he spoke: Today may be the last of some, or the first of many...

Either way, his voice and heart resonate through my life. My Uncle Tom, and father in the absence of my own. We smile at each other, and the years of shared meetings and love are a balm to my soul. These people know my heart, and it is safe in their care.

The joy of a girl allowed to roam. The simple pleasure of watching sticks and leaves swirl down through the current. The icy water on curious fingers. The inevitable slip of a foot on muddy, mossy rocks... (It was Cole this time - splash, under the water - a frozen boy)

Stacy, Landon's wife - my sweet friend of 13 years; Esther Wood (sister-in-law to a dear friend of my Dad) - an enjoyable, vivacious lady; Naomi - "Aunt Oma" as the kids call her - my friend of heart and wisdom.

Uncle Tom & Rick catch up on the happenings.

Isabella snuggles with Landon. The sight reminded me of my adoration of Landon when I was 4, and he was a Big Kid at 11.

And as long as there are Boyd's in Blue Ridge, there should be a little blond-haired girl that loves them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

5260, 629

Two random numbers
Two meanings.
Is this the deep post on days as a mother?
Is this the number of sleepless nights I have enjoyed?
The number of diapers I have changed?
No. nonononononononono...

There are 5,260 emails in my inbox.
There are 629 unread emails in my inbox.

Morbid curiosity drew me to the beginning of my downward spiral of email management, and it coincides with 2004 - the year of the twin pregnancy. And I started reading some of the mail, from some dear friends and family and.... I STILL! Could. Not. Delete.
I love to look back at those!

I do not love to see the Unread column - which is e-bill notifications that I, in my clear and present state of lucid evaluation (which has lasted 5 years) decided to leave unread, because as we all know - if an email is left unread it Will Be Noticed! And Paid On Time! Of course! At least.... until it scrolls down to the next page. Into the email underworld of forgottenness. We're lucky our power is on, water still runs, and trash gets picked up. And you just learned something about me. I Pay The Bills.
Oh scary thought. Oh scary bill-paying-forgetfulness. Oh butt-clenching-middle-of-the-night-remembering-of-mortgage!
No, really, we're in no danger at all. Auto-pay is my friend. Auto-pay and I have a love-love relationship. It takes care of our bills, I leave the emails Unread.

So I deleted a few emails, and then distracted and congratulated myself by reading a few more oldie-but-goodies.
I cannot even say that I will ever clean out the inbox. Thankfully, hotmail, in it's wisdom, has done away with whatever came before 2004.

Umm, overwhelmed much? Is your inbox empty or full?

This is how I spend the morning when the ducklings are home from school, roaming around waiting for something to happen. Writing a post about nothing.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feast Day

It was Feast Day at school today. And this turkey had a tight schedule, 2 turkey lunches and a toddler nap to squeeze in the middle. I am stuffed and a little bit dizzy and not responsible for any coherent account of the day.

9:45am - turkey songs in the preK class.
"Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey are you getting nice & fat? We will have you for Thxgiving, now what do you think of that!"
And there stood the 4 year olds, wiggling their arms, humming the words, and staring at the roomful of parents. Like deer in the headlights. Dressed like Indians.
Jadyn camouflaged herself, and phantomed her way out of any pictures I tried to take.
Next, the teacher had them each step forward and say what they are thankful for.
They are such herd animals! One boy said he was thankful for his Mommy, and that was it - the whole class was thankful for their Mommy - except one little boy who preferred his dog. Wide eyes, all, thankful for Mommy... Mommy... Mommy... dog... Mommy...

10:45-11:15 Sleep, Phoenix, sleep fast! (And then go play at Rachael's - because one feast is enough for you!)

11:25 - 3rd grade Feast. Complete with handmade placecards and placemats. Cole enjoyed his pb&j and I enjoyed his feast.

12:15 - Whew. One feast and 3 desserts later... I waddled home feeling like it was naptime. (Yes, I finished every one of my children's desserts. Strawberry shortcake. Mmm. There are very few things public school cafeterias make well. This was tasty.)

In other news, Phoenix had his 18 month check-up yesterday. I love to get those print-outs, and come home to compare his growth with the others. But it's not always a good thing to have tall children - they become small giants just when you want to freeze them. For example - the girls at 4 are wearing size 6. They are sweet and tall - and got there too quickly. All of a sudden it is hitting us, just how big they are getting. We watched some videos last weekend, of them at age 1 and 2, and it was hilarious and bittersweet.
Isabella, so verbal and vocal - "It's my turn!"
Jadyn so scampy and mischievous.

I pulled out their baby books today, to see their size at 18 months - and said "Oh no!"
Phoenix is the same height, 33 inches, that they both were at his age. Though quite a bit leaner, if you remember the fat-rollage on those girls. :) They were 3 pounds heavier than he is, my long lean little fellow.
You know what this means. Small Whirlwind will get an extra measure of grace for all of his hijinks today, because he is on track to sprout and shoot up and not be my little Mr. Big anymore. And for all their troublesome messes, toddlers are sweetness. The excitement of each first word, and the thrill of understanding what in the world they are trying to say. It's my favorite age, when the words start.

The years passed so slowly when they weren't marked by inches.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A World where magic is real...

Dear Kids,

You are invited to spend a week where magic is real and dreams come true...

Please join the fun at Walt Disney World!!

We can't wait to meet you!

The questions that followed were in turn funny, practical and downright strange. The girls both needed to know what size Mickey Mouse would be. They are still slightly skeptical about large costumed characters, having been terrified by Chuck E Cheese earlier this year. (And by terrified, I mean that when the singing mouse came out, they ran and held on to my leg under the table. Yeah. Same scene with Santa every year. Oh my.)
They were assured of Mickey's general friendliness, and that he was about the size of a grown-up.
Cole wanted to know how long it would take to get there, and how we would travel. He then assured the girls that flying was fun and nothing to worry about. This discussion sparked the girls' next questions:
Isabella wanted to know where we would leave our car while we were flying.
Jadyn wanted to know if someone would steal our car while we were gone. (See? Downright strange.)
Another concern of Isabella's? Would it be dark when we left the house. It will in fact be dark, and that adds to the fun. They are always up in the early morning when it IS dark, but rarely leave the house. Anymore. Not since we put the high locks on the doors. (Not kidding.)
The Secret Santa of this Family Fun-cation is Rick's brother, Uncle Dennis! We equally appreciate that he will accompany us and join in the fun. Parents of 4 love additional adults around!
Since the Big Reveal, we have gone over The Plan in detail, from packing to departure, to traveling on planes, trains and automobiles, from eating-out manners to sleeping arrangements. Whenever I sit on the couch, here they come to snuggle in and ask "Can we talk about Disney some more?"
Three weeks left to talk and plan, and yes, it really is fun to dream about the place where magic is real...
There you go.
Big Trip '09 is coming our way!
Shiver me timbers...

The whole idea has brought back memories of my childhood trips to Disney. I'll wrangle some time for one of those stories soon.
Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Almost News... OK - News!

I teased you. I honestly didn't mean to. My intentions were sweet and grand and would have made a memorable story. The Unfolding of The Trip. But somewhere between me sitting down to write & me typing the first sentence, things began to happen. It felt like a Curious George adventure: "Oh, what happened! First this, and then this!"

Please notice the remote, down there in all the dirt. Have no doubt, it will be filthied and then hidden somewhere that will force us into a three-room, down and dirty trash-can search.

This bodes no good thing. When did 18 months surpass the entire neanderthal intellect? Pushing chairs and using them as tools to reach a desired outcome? I see the crib tent in our near future. That lovely mesh device that keeps insane toddlers from launching themselves out of bed in the night...
The missing picture in this sequence is the one of Small Monkey pushing the high chair to the wall, by the desired phone, climbing up on top of the chair... and then slipping and falling just as I reached him...*bang* on his noggin. That's when I called it quits and went to sit with him. I thought the pictures would tell the story, 'cause, you know somesuch phrase about a picture and a thousand words being sufficient... and you'll get your thousand words too, I'm sure. He is at the gate staring at me, even now, and throwing trucks at me. If he could get his jammies off, he would be throwing poo like a zoo denizen, I am sure.

But back to the teasing. It was unintentional, and I can make it up to you!
I'll start... Oops. As I wrote this, Small Monkey showed up at the gate carrying a small chair - suitable for climbing over a gate. Darn his neanderthal superiority!
Tomorrow? I'll get back to you...

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Which I have News but Don't Tell It

I know I promised not to title any post, anything to do with "News."
Settle down.
Despite Cole's daily wish for another baby sister, it is not to be. That is not The News. (Seriously? He does wish for more babies every day. Every. Day. I feel a little twinge for his future wife, and hope she's a good breeder. The boy loves babies. As he left for school, chattering all the way out the door, he remarked out of blue about how surprised he was when he found out Phoenix was coming. In a sentimental way, like he wanted that feeling again. Of course, combined with the feeling of superiority he carries as the eldest. Oy.)

But back to The News. A certain Secret Santa has provided a certain sizable family with a certain Trip for Christmas. Care to guess who, what or where?

It is News. Big News.

It is all I can think about and plan for and obsess about, because, you know, wow. Wow!!
A Gift And a Trip! A Gift OF a Trip!
The Trip will take place in 26 days and last for 6 days. A countdown calendar has been made, and if you think you detect {almost} equal parts excitement and apprehension, you would be right.
This announcement is also by way of explanation of the no-show I've been pulling lately, here at the Borderland. As I plan and ponder, I put forth every effort to control the uncontrollable - and we all know where that will get me. Well, hopefully down to the Mexican bar on the corner - Ole! But realistically... ahem.

Go ahead, give it a guess - you've got a {random} clue to go on, somewhere in the last several posts - and I'll be working on The Reveal post for tomorrow. 'Cause I can't stop thinking about it long enough to write about anything else. Even cute babies. Ack!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I have not gone to Ninja

No, no, still here. Not far away in Ninja, not at all. I am, however, learning the fine art of parenting with a missing voice. I woke up today, after a week with a cough, to a hoarse whispery voice. This may work out fine. Without Old Yeller I will be whispery mommy. I would advise you all to stay clear of my neighborhood, as there will be random, roaming children, with no Yeller to keep them in line. Speaking of Ninja, coincidentally, yet another pre-K child has gone to Ninja. Gotta watch out for that place. It sucks up pre-K students.

There are many things going on, as usual in our household, and most have been photographed in hopes of delighting and enlightening or at the very least, umm, inspiring posters for birth control. But I have promised to show you My New Spot, aka The Desk-y Love of My Life - and today I deliver! In the words of Zach Gill, keyboardist for Jack Johnson, don't touch my stuff... I know right where everything is... (take a listen, if only for that first line, very catchy stuff.)


Hours have passed since I began this post. Is that information crucial? Well, yes. Yes it is. It is pertinent because I was about to reveal The Spot, which was rearranged and created by shifting furniture and houseplants. The houseplants, which are huge and greatly loved by the adults around here, have resided behind enemy lines (eg - baby gates) since the girls began crawling. But in order to arrange My Spot, we risked moving a big corn plant into the family room. I gave it until Thursday. As you will kindly notice, that large appealing dirt pile made it until Monday, noontime, which is only 3 days. Small Boy was busily flinging dirt everywhere, and when I caught him and whisper-croaked "Stop!" he just flung himself belly-down, right on top of the dirt.

I thought he was happily entertaining himself while I blogged. OK, yes, so he was. But isn't it ironic that he entertained himself with the one messy addition to the room that was occasioned by my new desk?? As I was telling you about my desk?? Ironic?? Or just toddler-ish and scampy.

And now for the great reveal of my new home-at-home! It's a bird, it's a plane.... it's Super-desk!

Here it is in lock-down mode, where the aforementioned Stuff, which does happen to include scrapping and card-making supplies, can rest and wait for me to come back at leisure. Ahhh.

And here it is in work mode! There I sit, clickety-clacking away! Check out all the outrageous doors o' storage on this baby! The bottom two are still {empty} which is just thrilling.

Are you ready for the kicker?? Did you know there would be one?? The desk was a good luck find at an outlet, for the preciously low, low price of $99.

Yes, friends. $99. I saw her, I dreamed about her, I could not sleep until I had her in my possession. Why she is female, I do not know. Perhaps the mystery of her many and varied compartments? Her elegant yet spacious accoutrements? This is getting weird. I'm out of here.

This concludes your introduction to Ms. Desk. Consider yourself friends. But don't touch my stuff.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Irresistible Mickey

It's innate.
Cute babies are irresistible. Cute Mickey Mouse-clad babies even moreso. But cute Mickey Mouse babies that clean up after a party? Bring it, Mickey! My neighbor/ friend Rachael had Vega's 3rd birthday party on Halloween, and little Mickey saw the mess and went straight for the vaccuum.

The ultimate party guest...

Go, Mickey, go! Turn that hoover on a dime! Thanks to Rick's Mom for that Lanese cleaning gene. :) Phoenix can sure Lanese around...

This one I love, because he can't stop looking at the gloves. Next, he poked at the round white buttons - and thought they were giant eyes. He was a little bit "seared" of them.

I don't know why a baby boy in black tights & a puffy Mickey suit is so hilarious - but we smiled all evening as he puttered around in that round dumpling. So I thought I'd spread more smiles... and work the Mickey suit for one more day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween run-down

Happy sunny day!

I am happily writing to you from my new desk - which I will soon show to you. Let's just say that my new desk has almost eclipsed Halloween and its craziness. I heart this desk. It is a large, fine desk. Suitable for holding all of my things. This desk has so much storage, it can be my computer center, bill-paying center AND craft center. Uh-huh.
Did you hear I got a new desk? I did. Anddid you hear that I'm no longer perched precariously on a stool beside the sideboard, bruising my knees each and every time I write to you, which, interestingly just reminded me of penance? My penance for chattering on and on about mundane drivel? Oh, I hope not.
Well. I hope you enjoyed the Halloween reveal.

What a sight, the sight of the 4 Learlings in the costumes of their choice. Yes, not only do I not do school art projects for my kids, I also do not make them wear things I think are cute. Clearly. Because, if I did, they would all have matched and been something fun that comes in fours. Right? Instead, I could only have my way with little Mickey Mouse - and isn't he
s-w-e-e-t?? Even with the shiner, which made him look like a tough Mickey.
Maybe next year. Maybe next time - as Isabella says, each time I try to convince her to wear a certain outfit. Maybe tomorrow, as Jadyn says every time I try to sway her choice of clothing.
There's always next year, next time and tomorrow, right?
So. We traipsed around with 2 ninjas, a reindeer named Rudolph and a Mickey Mouse. We were hardcore, baby! We walked a few miles in the rain, without even a stroller - let alone a tan suburban. (that one's for you, Susan!) I was pleased to find you all concurred with the "trick or drinking" proposal (to quote Shah's phrase - hey BB!), and I can say it made me not only happier, but is the sole reason I agreed to keep slogging around in the rain. I became a "Sure we can!" Mom instead of a "Head home NOW!" Mom. :) Though I will say maybe I laughed a little too uproariously when an alien answered the door at one house. I hooted and hollered and yelled "Good one!" - mostly because all the kids jumped back when she opened the door - and that was worth it all.
A good (soaking wet exhausting) time was had by all, and now I'm ready to trash all that sugar because it has turned my children into demons. BOO!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

pre-Halloween craze

Upon reflection of the utter madness that has already been going on this day, even before the ingestion of mass quantities of candy... I had an idea. It seems quite logical and should probably be required.

When the homeowner opens the door to the smiling trick or treaters, and holds out a basket of candy, he or she should have in the other hand a tray of shots for the parents to select from.

Treat for the kids. Treat for the parents. All's fair, my pretties.

Because, really. As cute as the itty bitties all look in their dearly loved get-ups - I do not love the raging sugar madness that follows. So a little drinky along the way would do wonders for the fun-factor of parents.

Until this catches on, my aunt & uncle have the right idea. They trick or treat with their 4 kids, and tote a wagon behind. The wagon is for their cooler to ride in as they tool around Smallwood.

Cheers, and have a freaky fright night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Mom did tell you she likes awesome

Hi, My name is trouble. Because of me, many projects of organizing and locking away and hiding and hanging have been started recently.

Yesterday, our counter looked like this. Because people kept putting all the good stuff up there, where I couldn't reach it. This worked, but was a big mess. I should show you where a lot of that stuff *used* to be. There's a picture of me up top of a big white climby-thingy-platform that I like to get on every chance I get. Whenever it's cluttered up with stuff, I throw it off. It looks better on the floor, and gives me more space to slide around and jump. If I find markers or drinks, my life is good. My siblings like to draw, so markers and paper are a good bet for that table.

But then, Mom had an idea. All the colorful drawings should go in the playroom! And they should hang on a wire that seemed made for the job! Because it certainly wasn't made for the job of hanging sheers. They were horribly droopy on that wire. So with a lot of help from me, and a lot of tools and a few shouts of "Phoenix! Drop that hammer NOW!"... she got it all up on the wall.

Halloween can't come soon enough for the kids. It's all they talk about, and I'm ready to say all right! Enough with the scary masks and pumpkin faces! I am not a fan of masks, as you might have heard. I tell them "I seared! I seared!" But they laugh at my fear, and just keep right on drawing scary pumpkin faces.

This worked out great and really made my Mom smile. She said to keep in mind that she likes awesome. And this is one awesome artwork wire.