Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Recital

Ginger has been participating in a once-a-week dance class this year. The class, an after school program offered at a neighboring elementary school, seemed to be the perfect way to introduce Ginger to dance. It offered a taste of many different dance styles with minimal investment-- definitely a great place to start. 

Last week they had their end-of-year recital. I could tell Ginger was nervous, but considering it was her first time dancing in front of people, not unexpected. She did a fabulous job and it was fun to watch. Even Big, who had been ornery all day, sat quietly and watched, turning to me at the end to say, "I want to take dance. Ballet." (I must admit that the thought of Big dancing around with all of his big-ness stuffed into a pair of tights made me smile.)

It was a great experience for Ginger, worth the money whether she continues dancing or not. The lighting in the place was kind of weird, but I managed to capture a few photos. Some looked like this...

...but even more came out looking like this (but I think they're kind of cool, too):

The girls performed 2 numbers, twice each. That allowed them to correct any mistakes they made the first time through. Plus, if they hadn't, the recital would have only been about 12 minutes long. It was a lot of fun to watch and see them improve.

Ginger had a really great time and loved her teachers.

Way to go, Ginger! We love you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Happens When You Give Auntie Art Cardboard

As I mentioned in the last post, Auntie Art was at our house when Rophone and Big came home with the motorcycle. The motorcycle came contained in a big box. In lots of pieces. Lots and lots of pieces.

I know my post about the motorcycle may have given you the impression that Rophone just brought the bike home and the kids hopped right on and started riding. Not so. Those pictures were actually taken after hours spent assembling the thing, Big pacing impatiently, helmet on his head, ready to go, just knowing that if we would let him help it would go so much more quickly.

His "help" didn't really move things along, unfortunately. At least not in a forward direction, anyway-- it was more like sideways. Especially when Big got on the motorcycle and took off, front wheel missing, dragging several bike parts along under the chassis. I moved my legs out of the way just in time, probably feeling much like my mother did just before I hit her with my car.


Have I ever mentioned that on here before? Hmmm... maybe if it's best if I just don't bring it up. Forget I said that. 

Anyhoo, Auntie Art and the kids decided to team up and have fun with the huge box that had contained the slowly-materializing motorbike. I don't even remember who came up with the idea-- maybe Ginger-- but we suddenly had a full-blown art project on our hands. But, that's what happens when you give Auntie Art cardboard. She just can't contain herself. 

It started out with Auntie Art thinking she was leaving soon so it would have to be quick, but eventually morphed into an all-out creative throwdown involving packing tape, markers, hot glue, fabric scraps and an exacto knife. Aunt vs. Box.

In the end, it was no contest-- Auntie Art was the ultimate victor. The Box didn't even know what hit him and Ginger and Bud were awarded the prizes.

Bud ended up with this fabulous house, replete with balcony (both people and car compatible)...

....double front doors and a one car garage...

.. not to mention the fabric-carpeted interior and modern art on the walls (not pictured).

The most important thing to note is that Bud shared! See? It kept Big out of my hair while I finished the motorcycle (hallelujah!). 

Here is Auntie Art adding some of the finishing touches--


Ginger ended up with a fantastic puppet theater. 

Thank goodness Grandma had a barrel full of fabric in her basement! I believe the puppet theater is now wearing what was meant to be a jumper for me in the late '80s. I'd like to think the fabric wouldn't have made me look nearly so boxy.

A little later, Ginger added in the backdrop she created. 

Scripts are being written and plans are being made-- I can't wait until the first big performance!

Thanks, Auntie Art!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hittin' the Road

We coaxed Auntie Art to come over and play after Pen's performance of Hansel and Gretel on Saturday. Not long after we got home, Big and Rophone returned from their boy-date. Big ran up to Auntie Art, yelling, "Auntie Art! Auntie Art! We got a motorcycle!" I then said, "Please tell me it's a toy motorcycle." Big said, "Okay. It's a toy motorcycle."

Oh, it was a toy motorcycle alright. Just a lot bigger of a toy motorcycle than I anticipated. (And forget about waiting for the suggested battery charging before use, or even putting the stickers on-- Bud hopped on quickly to show Big how it was done, and then donned his helmet, don't worry.)

WHAT?? Seriously?

This is one of those things that I swore we'd never, ever own. A ridiculous extravagance. Talk about spoiling the children and making them lazy-- get them something they have to pedal, for pete's sake! And now we own one. Not the first time I've had to eat my words, I assure you. 

I guess that when Rophone was told by the toy store worker that the $250 machines were about to be marked down to $50, he jumped at the chance. I think he figured we can let the kids have fun on it for a little while and then sell it for a profit if it gets too annoying. 

I'm not sure how long it will last around here-- Big drives a little like his grandpa, enjoying the scenery a bit too much as he drives. The kids have a lot of fun on it, though, even Ginger, who is under the weight limit by a pound (I'll post pictures of her on it, knees up to her chin, I promise!)

Anyway. We now own a motorcycle. It's a dream come true for Big, really. But if he shows up with distasteful tattoos, it will have to go.

Hansel and Gretel

Pen performed in the ballet Hansel and Gretel last weekend. It was fantastic and Pen looked absolutely beautiful and did a great job. 

Here is a picture of her at home, makeup done, before heading out to make call time for the Saturday matinee:

See? Beautiful. 

Rophone went to the friday night performance, so I invited Auntie Art to go with me, Bud and Ginger to the afternoon matinee. I managed to capture Pen in action.

It was such a pleasant and peaceful way to spend an afternoon. 

Little did I know that THIS was in my very near future:


Friday, April 16, 2010

It's All Big

Big has been dry for the past two nights. Yeah, you heard me-- completely dry. And he's been dry during the day, too. I am utterly flabbergasted by it. To go from showing no real desire to even sit on the potty to then start to hold it day and night is crazy. And awesome.

I didn't even notice when I got Big ready for bed two nights ago that the diaper that he'd been wearing for the afternoon was dry, so when he woke up at 10 pm and said that his stomach hurt I was worried. Then he asked to sit on the potty and peed a TON. 

It was then that I noticed that not only was his diaper still dry, but the afternoon diaper I'd taken off of him was dry, too. He must have had a stomachache from holding in the pee for so long! I felt bad that I hadn't noticed. 

I didn't really expect it to continue, but when Big woke up in the morning he was still dry, sat on the potty when he needed to all day and then woke up dry again this morning. I am so excited! Seriously. This is huge!

The boys were having trouble with each other this morning, so when Big asked if he could shower with me, I agreed. Anything to prevent bloodshed, right? Um, yeah. This will be the LAST time he showers with me. 

It might just have a little something to do with this:

(As we got ready to get in the shower)

Big: "You have nice nibbles."

Me: "Um... thanks."

Big: "They're HUGE! Really big." (looks down at his chest) "And mine are just little."

Me: "Well, you're pretty little. And boys' nipples don't get as big as girls' do anyway."

Big: "I like yours. Can I play with them?"

Me: "NO!!"

(Then, while we were in the shower)

Big: "You have a lot of water running off your fur-gina, I'm going to catch it with my cup!"

(Fur-gina?? Time to stop putting off the waxing, I guess.)

Yikes! If I wanted that kind of action I'd shower with his father! Heavens, but you can tell they're related.

After we got out of the shower, Big requested a snack of graham crackers and milk. As I was getting the crackers out of their package, Big gave me some instructions--

"I want you to break one into a triangle and one into a hexagon!"

Luckily they weren't clean-breaking graham crackers so my task was an easy one. Well, relatively easy. My hexagon actually came out as a pentagon, but Big didn't notice (thank goodness).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Upgrade

I was looking down at my feet this morning and noticed that the tops of them were dry and in need of lotion. THEN I noticed that being dry really made the wrinkles stand out.

WRINKLES?! On the tops of my FEET?!?

I then rather poutingly complained to Rophone, who was taking the day off, "I have wrinkles on my feet. I'm getting old."

Big, who was sitting near my feet, matter-of-fact-ly responded to my complaint, saying, "Well, I guess it's time to buy a new mommy."

I'd better stop complaining or Big will trade me in for an upgraded model! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Odd Easter

Easter was odd this year for a few reasons-- the main one being that Rophone had to work both Saturday and Sunday, so was absent. It just wasn't the same without him being here. We're hoping he's not still at the same job in a few years when it's slated to happen again, but if he is we'll be sure to celebrate our Easter on another day.

Another reason it was odd was because when we dyed Easter eggs on Saturday I forgot to take pictures. Hard to believe, isn't it? But I didn't. Not a one. I guess I was just too busy dyeing eggs and supervising. It's true that Big was getting a little slosh happy with the dye.

I'm really pretty bummed, actually. The lighting was perfect, we were all having a blast, the eggs turned out great, and this was the first year that Big was old enough to really get into it and do it mostly by himself. I would have loved to have shots to show Rophone since he didn't get to be here. A regret, for sure. 

I was even tempted to use another set of dyes to let the kids re-dunk a few eggs the next day. But, you've seen re-enactments on TV-- the acting is bad and you just know it's not the real thing. It would have been nice to be better looking than in real-life for a few minutes, though.

I did manage to snap a few shots on Easter, however, even though the piano in the living room is placed exactly where I needed to stand to take advantage of the light. But, we had a good time. Well, as much as we could with Rophone missing.

Here the kids are, waiting to see what the Easter bunny brought--

Okay, here we go..(ummm.. Pen really did get stuff, I don't know why she's not pictured)

(Insert non-existent photos of Pen, here:)

Then it was time to line up to go look for eggs in the living room. Thank goodness the Easter bunny didn't make us go out in the snow! (Disclaimer: couches and carpet pictured are not mine)

In we go! The Easter Bunny made good use of the piano as a hiding spot.

Then I used it as a hiding spot, too, and snapped a few photos.

The hunt went really well, except for the fact that EB clearly underestimated how well Big would do. He finished a little quickly and had to wait around for everyone else to finish.

Bud was kind enough to keep us loudly updated on his found-egg count as he went along.

All-in-all, it was a grand morning (minus a few tantrums and the missing Rophone). And when the egg hunt was done the kids quickly donned their new shirts and began to play semi-nicely (Big wants Bud's toy, but luckily his birthday is coming up). No one seems too scarred. They seem happy, actually, so I guess we can term this Easter a success!

Looking at this face even kind of makes me want to do it all again next year!

Now, on to Spring break! Wish me luck.