Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Easter Pictures

I am not sure if I even remember how to type on a full size keyboard anymore.  I'll give it a try. 

I HAVE tried blogging over the past year, about three times, but each time, something dire has happened and either my computer combusted, froze, or my work completely disappeared.  I think there is an antiblog curse here in this house of mine, which is why nothing works anymore.  Seriously, all my computers, my right arm, not even my internal sleep mechanism. 

The good news is, our time here in Cincy is almost over.  To say I am elated, would be an understatement.  This has not been my favorite place.....at all. I think I may even prefer camping (and I HATE camping) because when you are camping you EXPECT to see strange creatures and insects of unusual size.  For instance, right now, crawling up my wall, is a centidped  the size of Barbie arm, and I've spotted a mouse. NOT EVEN KIDDING.  It's so not cool.

On a more positive note, here are some Easter pictures. Oh wait, this first one isn't much of a positive note; but I think it's hilarious.

 So this right here is an Easter miracle. I have never had a picture of me with all four kids AND with them looking at the camera ever in my life. Finally it happens and look what my hair is doing.  Thanks, Hair. 
 I love HER hair.
 So our church is huge and the kids love it and it has been the silver lining of our living in Ohio, and they do everything BIG.  So, no, there was no Easter Bunny 'cuz those just don't make the cut.  Oh no, our church does an EASTER CHOPPER!! Kid you not. See that dot above Lulu's head?  Yeah, that's an Easter Chopper.

 2000 eggs came raining down out of that thing.....

She likes the Easter Chopper. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Playing catch up- Belated Halloween Post

Halloween rocks our world.  In fact I consider it one of the "holidays" in the phrase "Happy Holidays."  It's one of the big ones.

I love the way Lucy says "TWICK OR TWEATING!!" instead of "Trick or treat."  She always adds the "ing". Every year.

I love how the girls say "ghostes" instead of "ghosts".

I love the way it's not Halloween for Jaxon until we've properly decorated.

I love the way "properly decorated" means two different things to two different kids.  Jaxon likes order and traditions,  and things to be where they go. He's more of a "stay inside the lines" colorer.

Penelope, on the other hand, is more freestyle.  She will add a line where she sees fit and her style of decorating consists of putting anything orange in really random places.  That little clementine by the sink in the bathroom?  It's a decoration.   The pumpkins in the crib? Decorations for Sam, because, you know, even babies enjoy a little crib pimping once in a while.

Each year I've dutifully completed the Halloween checklist: cider, hayrides, pumpkins, candles, roasting seeds, decorated.... you all know the drill.  This year I was slacking a bit until Jaxon told our neighbor when she asked if he was ready for Halloween, "No, we aren't.  We haven't put out our Halloween decorations yet."  That was two days before THE DAY.


On the other hand, it's nice to know that these things actually make a difference, and the kids notice when our Halloween haul isn't displayed.  As they've gotten older, they are adding in their own elements and are really starting to make our little traditions their own.  I love that part about being a Mom, I get to do that festive stuff, and that's so good.

So I had Rick drag out my little box of Target clearance Halloween stuff.  The pumpkin mugs, the pumpkin plates, the little skeleton nut crackers and the like.  It made me remember, its this stuff, all the little details that really make it fun for my kids.

So back to Halloween.

Lulu, by nature, is a a lazy kid.  If she had her way she would eat marshmallows and watch TV all day, every day. When we are out, she usually ends up being carried because she gets too tired. More often that not I'm pushing Sam in the stroller and carrying her over my shoulder. Yes, I do have great arms, thanks.

But on Halloween....girlfriend is on FIRE.  That haunted Thursday night, even though the rain was coming down, and it was windy and dark, and freaking SPOOKY, she kept repeating her little mantra of "Lets keep ooooooooon goin', let's keep ooooooooon goin'!" Her sweet voice turned to rasp but she kept proclaiming her commitment to candy.  She jump over puddles and braved the elements, telling each candy giver "Um, acthually, I would like one more pleathe. " to which they would gladly hand over heaps of chocolate and sugary goodness.  Lulu could be a very effective highway robber, or better yet, a politician.  She could probably talk peace into the Middle East.  She has figured out, that people, especially those who don't know her, generally do whatever she tells them.

The day started cold and dreary, and I was back and forth all day whether we would go trick or treating or wait until Friday.  But Halloween is one of those holidays that has to be ON THE DAY. It just does.  Plus we are hard core. Plus Lulu has been asking almost every day since SEPTEMBER "Is today the day? Is today trick or treating day?" Every once in a while she will have a panic attack because she thinks we missed it.  I'm telling you, she takes this one seriously.

So the rain let up, I said, "Let's just go and avoid the crowds tomorrow.  It'll be EPIC." So we grabbed our umbrellas, glow sticks and bags and headed out. And it was EPIC.

 This year we had Belle, Mario, and Ariel.  I'm not sure why Lulu looks stoned here, but this picture is strictly for the use of showing the costumes.

And this little gem is by far the scariest thing I saw during all our Halloween festivities.  A tarred and possessed Hello Kitty?  I'm not sure what to make of it.

Oh and the absolute best part of all the Halloween madness.....the kids have totally forgotten about the Halloween candy stash.  They don't even ask about the candy.

Now that all our Halloween stash is al packed away again, we are gearing up for some more holiday fun.

Up next~Thanksgiving

Gobble, gobble.

Friday, September 27, 2013


We have been here, in Wa-hio (that's "Ohio" in Lulu speak) for a few months now, even though in my head, I still feel like it's been only a few weeks. ( For the record,  Wa-hio 's state slogan could should read "Ohio, home of the WORST DRIVERS EVER".)  People ask when we moved here, and I'll answer with "A few weeks ago..." and Rick will be like "Um, JULY!"  Oh, yeah. I forgot.

I guess I am still getting adjusted, so I still feel like we've just landed.

For the majority of the time we have been here, I've been very disappointed with myself because I feel like my happiness is so location dependent and I know it shouldn't be.

But in Crozet, we had it all.

We had vineyards, and orchards, and mountains and natural springs.  We had the most beautiful scenery every day....even a trip to Target was always a feast for the eyes.  We had the kind of small town where you would meet at least five people you know at the grocery store, and everybody knew a little too much of everybody elses business.  But I like that.

We had a little village.  A perfect little village made up of mothers and children.....but we all had each other.  And we knew things like what days the boys had baseball or soccer, or the girls had dance or swimming;  all the moms knew all the kids, like we knew Penelope was ok if she climbed to the tippy top of the play gym and we knew that sometimes the boys just had to beat the crud out of each other just because; we had the kind of safety net which allowed us to say "hey, can you take my kids today?" or "hey, you look like crap, give me your kids today."  It was the kind of place where our door bell would ring for a quick Dr. assessment of this or that, and I could call someone and say "Lulu swallowed this, or Penelope knocked her tooth, can you come look?"  I actually had a mother doctor friend, on more than one occasion, check out Lulu's bum for weird rash and give my kids lice checks.....on the play ground.  And so it was, and all was well.

It contrasts so starkly with my new surroundings which is a combination of all the worst TV shows put together.  The kinds of shows that you change right away because you don't want those images in your mind forever, only for me, I can't change the channel.  It's like "16 and Pregnant" meets "Biggest Loser" meets "Honey Boo Boo".  I miss Mayberry.

But then there are these moments, when I am with my own little family, all six of us, and I can feel it again.  I feel that surge in my soul when it smiles, when "my bucket is full" as the children say.  And I smile because, no, my happy doesn't belong to a specific place, it belongs here, in these moments when we are all together.

Sam waking up as a big bad one year old boy.                                            

Sam meets his birthday cake. 

He loves this hammer more than anything else. 

"Hey guys."

Take THAT wiffle ball!! and he's wearing a tail.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Summer Rewind

And it's fall.
Yesterday I swapped out my red,white, and blue door decor for my "Happy Fall" owl, which clanks annoyingly with every open and close of the door.  Another noise is exactly what this mama needs.  Brillz. Totes brillz. 

So the summer went reallyreallyreally fast.  We moved.  I spent the last 15 minutes in our house in Charlottesville looking for a one inch by one inch clear plastic angry birds holder thing-y.  I don't even know what the heck it was, all I know is, I was all packed up and in the car and a little shaky voice from the back seat piped up.  Jaxon needed to have this tiny, clear, plastic, invisible-to-the-naked-eye thing-y; and like the rock star mom that I am,  I found it.  And yes, this is a highlight for me for two reasons: 1) because sometimes it just feels good to be the person who can fix stuff for your kid and 2) I'll need this story a few years from now as a bargaining tool.  I'm not sure how yet, but I'm sure it will come in handy to someday say, "Jaxon, remember when I found that invisible thing-y for you?"

Anyway, back to the summer.

My little brother got married, and the kids, MY kids damn near ruined the wedding.  Seriously, there were tears and screams coming down the aisle out of the mouths of my two sweet little girls.  But the point is, the D got hitched and we LOVE our new sister and auntie.

 Then there was the 4th of July.  Which is almost like Christmas.  Seriously, Mom even has a 4th of July Tree.  Which is awesome and colorful but also really confusing for the kids, because there are no presents under it, but listening to them work through this presentless tree in July situation is really hilarious.

This one is always on the go.  Even after she broke her arm, she didn't stop.  

These crazy kids, all born within a year of each other, will be each other's people for life.  Cousins.  Such a beautiful thing. 

No family gathering is complete without a little fi-ya.

The St. Joe fireworks.  All the kids were wrapped up in blankets, clapping at every boom, laughing, loving, enjoying life. It was exactly what the 4th of July should be.  

 While we were in Michigan, I took the two big kids over to Navy Pier to meet up with some old Norfolk buddies. 

Aris and Jax have been friends since the diaper days.  (They are the two boys riding together.)
 The whole crazy bunch.

This guy spent most of the summer growing the best head of hair ever. 

As it turns out, we stayed in Michigan so long that Dad decided to get another house.  One with LOTS of space, and a pool.  So we spent LOTS of time doing this...

and snacking poolside with cousins...

sitting by the fire with Gramps.....

swimming....all day......and then some more....

 and then swinging....

 and then gathering firewood
 for the fire that would cook the marshmallows for the s'more we would eat,

 which usually ended up with the kids going back into the pool for a good cleaning.

We celebrated all the summer and fall birthdays...

and had wild lollipops way too late.

But we were together.

And for the birthdays, Aunt Summer got a floating lantern for each kid....all seven. We let them go one by one. 
 And quite possibly the best moment of the summer was when Baby Sam's lantern was having a bit of trouble taking off, and all the kids were running around in the yard chanting "GO SAM GO!! GO SAM GO!! and slowly but surely, Sam's little lantern took flight, and joined the other lights in the dark sky, and away they all went together.

And speaking of Baby Sam....

We are down one helmet and up one eye patch.  

This little man ain't so little any more.  
He grew and grew and grew.  He turned 9, then 10, then 11 months, and next week, is the big ONE.  My Sam.  My little crazy scared the life out of me baby will be one year old.  Oh how far we have come.  Thank you, Jesus.

And then a few weeks ago, this happened.

My little guy entered FIRST GRADE.  And he did it without a care in the world.  After he obliterated a plastic cup in the kitchen (just normal first day of school jitters, right? ) he was calm and collected, hopped on the bus and away he went.  And of course, I fell apart.....again.

And Peapod started Kindergarten.  We were both nervous, so I took her to school the first day so we could meet her teacher together. Penelope was scared that she might be mean, but then after a few minutes of waiting, we met her.

Penelope's teacher is like all best things about all the Disney Princesses put together, and then wrapped in a rainbow, covered in powdered sugar and bunnies and flowers and roses and sparkles and glitter.  She is sweet and sing-songy and beautiful, she has the most velvet and comforting disposition, she is everything a kindergarten teacher should be.  Every day Penelope says "I had a GREAT day!"
So I dropped her off, turned around and ran to my car with all the other mothers hiding tears behind coffee cups and sunglasses.  
She is growing up and she is happy, so this mama is happy.

So I hang out a lot with these two.  These crazy kids.   They are special. They have a deep special connection, like they knew each other in another life. I kind of think they did.  I think that maybe, a long time ago, for many years, they were two little eggs, waiting in line, and maybe they were side by side and so their little genetic codes are nearly exactly the same.  Maybe they were supposed to be twins and then got separated somehow (clearly I have no knowledge of these things, only an over active imagination) and now are back together, only a few years apart.
They are just so similar, their looks, their dispositions, eating and sleeping habits.  Lulu can just give Sam a look and throw him into fits of wild laughter.  She has a way with him that no one else does.

She never had an adverse reaction to being dethroned as the baby; she was always so receptive of him, and nurturing.  She calls him "My Baby" and she is always sharing her most prized possessions with him.....her paci and her owl.  These two are a sight to behold.

And in other news, someone learned how to whistle. 
There you have it, that was our summer.  Here's to cooler temperatures, more cable knit, boots, fall leaves and Halloween.  Happy fall everyone!