Sunday, August 31, 2008

All Tucked In

Rophone has been working long hours the past few weeks and it has made him a bit tuckered out. He crashed on the couch this morning while I was getting breakfast made, and when I came out of the kitchen I saw this:

Big sure does love his daddy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Early Labor Day

Since it was 98 degrees today, and Monday is only supposed to be about 60, we decided to have some "Early Labor Day" fun. The older kids played in our blow-up pool this afternoon while Big napped. A lot more fun today than it would be in the much colder weather on the real Labor Day, that's for sure!

Bud's hair looks like he's part of the cast of "That 70's Show". I really must find someone who knows how to cut his hair the way I want.

I had a funny conversation with Pen while she was hanging out on her towel after getting out of the water:

Pen: My legs felt kind of weird and scaly when I was in the water.

Me: Your legs are probably dry. You'd better put lotion on them when we get inside.

Pen: No, it wasn't that.

Me: Maybe you had too much sunscreen on them.

Pen: No, it wasn't that either. (pause) They were just scaly feeling.

Me (as a light bulb appeared above my head): Are you trying to get me to reveal to you that yes, indeed, you might just be a mermaid? That it runs in the family, or something?

Pen: Nooo! (but I can tell she's lying)

Me: I hate to break it to you, Pen, but you're part fish...a really ugly catfish with long whiskers, actually. Sorry!

Pen: Mah-um!! (that's supposed to say Mom with that sing-songy pre-teen inflection)

I can't believe that Pen is almost 10 years old! I'm glad that she still hasn't lost that certain part of her that hopes the make-believe things she reads about are really real. Even though she knows better, she still hopes to attend Hogwarts, stay young forever in Neverland or become a mermaid while swimming. 

(I used to be kind of the same way-- I would try to deliver the newspapers for my paper route before I got up from bed, using only mind-power. I was always a bit disappointed when I went upstairs and saw the bundle of papers still there, waiting to be folded). 

Hopefully, as she gets older, Pen will be able to maintain those characteristics of hope and optimism (maybe a bit more realistically). They will serve her well. 

Friday, August 29, 2008


Big can't seem to decide whether he is right or left handed, so we made sure he had a mitt to go either way. For a mitt lover like himself, what he experienced here was pure heaven:

I think it's quite possible that in this picture he is actually smelling the leather and blissfully sighing:

Now that's a happy boy!

Bud was looking cute in his new shirt as he hung out with us:

Bud sure does love his brother:

Bud, giving Big a kiss on his freshly shorn head....

and getting a hair in his mouth in the process:

It sure is a lot quieter around here during the day now that the girls are back in school. It's kind of weird....but awfully nice!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Big is beginning to get excited about the things he is now able to verbalize, and the "doors" he finds communication can open. (He is also becoming more upset when he can't get his point across the way he wants, however, as is usually the case.) He loves being able to point out to me, "wall" followed by, "nother wall" and have me understand him and praise him. 

He had a huge proud moment tonight when I made a goof and he managed to say, "silly Mom". It's fun to see him begin to put things together and see his mind work. I'm sure we'll have a lot of frustration along the way, but it's great!

I Love Sesame Street

I am so glad that Sesame Street chooses to include humor for the parental viewers! Telly cracks me up! He and Baby Bear just heard the sound of a motorcycle coming from a book, and Telly's guess at what the sound might be was that "it's a herd of lactose intolerant antelope who just ate cottage cheese"! Awesome! How would I make it through my day without it?!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cone Discovered

Recently, Big has discovered the joy of eating an ice cream cone. What is it about eating a cone that causes such pure, unadulterated joy? Have you ever seen someone that looked sad while eating an ice cream cone (not counting those kids who dumped their scoop on the ground, of course)? Even I, not a big sweets eater, am occasionally drawn to partake, and I enjoy every minute of it.

The best part about a cone is that there are no rules when it comes to eating it. The ways to eat a cone are as varied as..... (couldn't think of much original-- stars in the sky definitely isn't new, dimples on my thigh isn't very appetizing...well, you get the idea!)

Those who are in a rush may nibble the ice cream with either teeth (if they're tough) or lips. These folks don't even have to worry about catching wayward drips on the sides of the cone with their tounges--there isn't time for any melting to be done.

The more unhurried partakers lick the cone 'round and 'round with a flattened tongue, maybe even making a skinny mountain that reaches to the sky until pushed down flat again by that same tongue that built it, only for the whole process to begin again.

Some of the more adventurous eaters poke holes with pointed tongues or surround the whole cone with their mouths and pull the ice cream into an impossibly long and squiggly peak with their pursed lips, and the peak stands for only a brief moment before being bitten off or folding back down upon itself. 

As a kid, my little brother, Rib, would always bite the end off of his cone and then turn it back upright to eat the ice cream while his lap collected the steady drips out of the bottom end. 

No matter how we choose to eat our ice cream cones, there is joy to be found for all!

Here is Big, loving his cone:

He was doing great, until he decided to test it on the back of his hand--as though he was trying to find just the right shade of lipstick for his skin color:

Go eat a cone and enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day

I can't believe it, but the first day of school is here again. One part of me says HOORAY! (admittedly the larger part), while another part of me is kind of bummed--the part that will miss the girls and doesn't want to have to start the whole routine again. The house sure was a lot quieter today, with a lot fewer problems to solve. Nice.

Big was happy to get back to the routine that was his life before summer began. As we were headed out the door this morning he kept grinning and saying, "Go, go, 'cool". He loves getting out every morning, even if it's just for the short drive to the school and back. He sure did miss the extra attention he had become used to receiving throughout the day, though, and was glad when the girls reappeared in the afternoon.

Here is a picture of the girls just before we headed for school (really early! It's funny how for the first little while I can't make them wait until it's time to head out the door, and later I can't get them out the door on time!):

They arrived home just as happy, which is a good sign, but much more wilted looking. It was in the upper 90's today, and they had to spend the day in a school without air conditioning and then walk home, too! 

Heat stroke is something I worry about, especially when I see how full their water bottles still are when they get home. I don't know how any learning gets done in such heat all day, either. I couldn't even sit still and focus during back-to-school night! I think we'll all be happy when it cools off.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Live with John McCain

I will be so glad when the elections are over. The kids don't normally get to watch much TV around here, but for the past few weeks the Olympics have changed all that. We are getting awfully tired of all of the political ads. Cute Bud now walks around stating, "I'm John McCain, and I approve this message". As if I don't hear enough of it already! 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Whole New Level

Today, Surgeon Bud took our little procedures to a whole new level. "Well," he said, "it looks like we're going to have to cut you in half." He said it in such a matter of fact manner, that I figured it was no big deal.... I mean, it must not hurt at all. When I asked him if it would hurt, he said, "Yup". So much for that.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Park Play

After dinner tonight, Rophone had the grand idea of taking the kids to the park to play. We took the kids to a park that we had driven by many times, but never gone to. The most amazing and wonderful thing about this park (and very unusual for around here) is that it is SHADY! We all had a lot of fun. Get ready for lots of pictures!

Bud spent most of the time we were there climbing inside this tubular slide:

A band was playing in the park, and here Big is keeping time on the post with his "bap":

Ginger is such an imp:

Big has had a terrible week. He reacted terribly to his chicken pox vaccination (see the pox on his face?) and has had a fever all week that finally just broke today.

Big's gums are bulging with two emerging molars, too, so high fever + sore gums = he hasn't eaten much. After 3 days of pretty much no food, I finally brought out the "big guns" (as it were) and nursed him. So, it looks like we're back on the nursing wagon for a few days and then I'll start my medication again.

Pen is so cool (really!):

Ginger, watching her sister on the "zip line":

All of the kids tried this slide (yes, it's as bumpy as it looks--ouch!) and proclaimed it "not fun":

The underside:

It was a lot of fun--thanks Rophone for being motivated! Pen has been see-sawing between Pen and Fine! so quickly these days that I can't keep track, or possibly know who to expect. Add in the fact that Ginger is turning into What-ever! with increasing regularity....let's just say that a pleasant evening in the park, with a minimum of attitude, was much needed.

Pen's Glasses

After getting my glasses I began to suspect something. Now that I could see things clearly, I started to realize that Pen quite possibly couldn't. I didn't notice what she couldn't see before, because I couldn't either! Anyway, I took Pen to the eye doctor a few weeks ago and this is the result (we were so excited to pick them up this morning that we forgot about the Primary party, oops!):

None of the kid glasses looked right on her (they were all wire framed, the wrong shape for her face), so we started looking at smaller sized adult frames and were lucky enough to find these (I'm kind of jealous! I wish they looked good on me!). I think they're perfect. 

We wanted Pen to feel good about how she looks in glasses so that she won't be so self conscious to start school next week. I think she looks super cute, and you can tell that she does, too. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As of today, Big is officially weaned. I have mixed feelings about it. I know that he's plenty old, and many of you are probably shocked that I am still nursing him, but it's just the way the weaning has come about that bothers me a little.

Many of you know that I have achy joints. I have decided that it is finally time to try and feel better, so have gone to the doctor. The result is that the doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory to calm things down a bit. Anyway, that was last week.

Yesterday, I realized that the doctor probably didn't know that I was still nursing when she prescribed the medication, so I called to find out whether I should nurse while taking it, etc. When they called me back today to let me know that I shouldn't take it while nursing, I knew I had a decision to make. 

I decided that now is the time I need to take care of me. I have been putting it off for a long time, but I think if I feel better I'll be a better/happier/more patient mom. I am just bummed that my hand was forced. I would have liked to nurse Big for just a while longer (not until he's 7 or anything!) since we were still having a grand time, and he is my last. 

Looks like we'll have to fill the void with more baseball playing (Big got a hold of a big slotted spoon today and muttered, "Now I need a ball". Anything remotely bat-like becomes a "bap" in his eyes. The other night at my brother's house it was a straw that he found in their toy box). Crazy kid!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who is That, Umm, Pretty Girl?

After his nap today, Big found a few things laying around and insisted (very strongly, as he tends to do these days) that I put them on him. This is the end result:

Big wore them around for quite a while, and threw a bit of a fit every time the weird headphones came off, insisting that I put them on again. Watching him walk around, I had to laugh at the fact that although he is a very handsome/cute boy, he does not a pretty girl make! Barrettes are clearly not a fashion accessory Big should adopt on a regular basis. He sure was cute not being cute, though! 

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Picture of My Day

If I were to describe my day with a picture, this one would do nicely:

Since none of my kids have been very amenable to having their picture taken mid-tantrum today, I borrowed someone else's kid instead.

We went to my brother's house last night for dinner and had a super time. While there, I decided (partly from laziness, partly because we were having a good time) to relax a bit on the bedtime and not be as militant as usual about getting out the door to head home.

So, by the time we finally left it was an hour past normal bedtime for the kids, which meant that they didn't get in bed until nearly 2 hours later than normal. Not usually a good idea at any time, it has led to a less than stellar day for us today.

I forgot that today is Monday--the day my muumuu wearing neighbor begins mowing her lawn before 7 am. Any and all hope I had that my kids would sleep in this morning was dashed by the roar of her mower as it came to life.

Rophone and I have a dream. A seemingly simple one, really. We dream that one day our kids will recognize what a joy it is to sleep in, and that we won't be too old to manage it ourselves when it happens!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I have always wanted to be creative. Rophone has always sworn that I am creative, but too anal and uptight to let it emerge. Maybe that's true--I know I have always been afraid to make mistakes and therefore often don't make an attempt. 

I know that I am hopelessly uncreative in many areas, but I'd like to think that there are a few things that I could possibly do with some creativity. I think that, perhaps, I have shown glimmers of creativity from time to time, but it often slips out of reach again.

I would love to be creative with photography, but I don't know if I can. Give me a person and a camera and I can come up with a good shot .... usually ..... eventually, but I don't know that I can take artistic or creative photos. (Rophone would most likely tell me that it's just my own critical nature and view of the things that I do that doesn't allow me to see what I can do or have done, I'm sure. He's good that way.)

I think that I have had moments with this blog where I have written creatively, and even been a bit funny at times (well, I laugh, anyway!). But right now....nothing. Blah. It's not that funny things haven't happened (Bud said the funniest thing the other day, but it had the potential to make my more conservative readers blush, so I decided not to post it). I just don't seem to have the ability at the moment to be captivating/intriguing/funny or whatever. I feel boring when I write.

What a complainer I am! I should be grateful for the things I can do! I can cook with a recipe, I can color in the lines (I rock at staying in the lines! Being anal is good for something, see!), I am a good driver...anyway, just ignore all the stuff I mentioned above. I'll work it all out. I'll unlock that creativity one of these days, and manage to lock it out of the place it always tries to sneak back to, so watch out! 

Big Discovers Books

Big has finally really discovered books. He has always enjoyed the pictures, and the words as long as there weren't more than one or two a page. He has just never been willing to sit still long enough for a book with some semblance of a story line. Until now. 

While we were on vacation, my sister, Martha, gave Big this book as a late birthday present:

Big loves it! I think we sat and read it together at least 25 times today. He still shows a lack of patience with other books at times, but this is always sure to keep his attention raptly held. It is nice that Big will now, occasionally, sit for a moment and cuddle with his mom and read a book. Much better than a poke in the eye, that's for sure!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Big's Stats

Big had his 15 month appointment today. Believe it or not, he seems to be approaching normalcy when it comes to size (well, he's closer than he was before, anyway). The doctor seems to be impressed with his overall health, smarts, etc.

Here are the numbers:

Weight: 27# 13oz (only 85th percentile!)

Length: 32 1/2" (also only 85th--kinda normal, see?)

Head: 19 1/4" (90%)

I don't imagine that there is any way Big will reach the 35 pounds that Pen weighed at age two. He is way too active. If he's awake, he's on the go. He has started to sit with me a little more so I can read him books, which is nice. What a kid!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Handsome Big

I took Big to get a new haircut tonight. It was originally going to be a full mohawk, but the back of the mohawk was too thick and puffy for my liking. So, we ended up with this cut instead:

I just think he looks so darn cute, I can't stand it! Maybe we'll attempt the full mohawk again when he's a little more amenable to getting his hair cut. He bawled and shook his head the whole time again, just like his first cut a few months ago. It makes it hard to get a cut exactly the way you want it. I think he looks adorable, though.

Big Plays Ball

Big is obsessed with balls and playing ball. He loves balls in all shapes and sizes, and he loves the mitts (he calls them malls) and bats (he calls them baps) that come along with it. He doesn't care if it's a football, baseball, golfball (or head!)--if it looks like a ball, he loves to hit it with a "bap". 

Lately, Big has adopted a Dora the Explorer gardening glove of Bud's as his "mall" (it must be a combination of mitt and ball). It's super cute, except for when he pulls the glove off periodically and wants me to wipe the sweat off his hand! 

Here are a few pictures (not great, the lighting was bad) of Big playing catch with his "mall" on:

If you ever happen to be in the same room with Big and a ball, play catch with him. He'd love it!