Friday, June 25, 2010


Yesterday, Ginger and Big got to be filmed for a few scenes in an independent movie. Our neighbor (and friend) is a film director and professor, and he thought Ginger and Big were the perfect ages and coloring for what he had in mind.

They were in two short scenes, although a lot of waiting time made it longer. But, that's what they say about filming movies-- it's a lot of hurry up and wait. We got there at our call time of 3:30 and waited until 5:00, when they finally admitted that maybe we should just go home and wait for their call. 

During that waiting time on set, Big amazed me. He was so patient and just hung out, chatting occasionally with some of the crew members and actors, raiding the food table for snacks. He seemed so in his element, as though what we were doing was totally normal. I think that he felt like an adult, like he had a job, so he was totally in his element.

When we finally got the call at 6:00 to head to the park for the kids' first scene, I was worried that Big might have lost his motivation. But I was wrong. He was eager to get back to work. Their first scene was playing at the park with a woman who was playing their nanny (the closest my kids will ever get to having a nanny, I can tell you that). Ginger and Big both followed direction beautifully, thus alleviating all of my fears about how it would go.

Of course, with a strong-willed 3 year old it could all change in an instant, especially since as we wrapped at the first location and headed to the second it was nearing his bedtime. I was anxious to see if Big would finally just say 'NO!'. I had no need to worry. Ginger and Big were both great. 

For this scene, the "nanny" was dropping the kids off at "home" and they had to run up the stairs and into the arms of their waiting "mother". Big did so well at walking back to his mark each time they needed to rerun the scene. He was a total pro. Well, except for the fact that he looked at his 'mom' with a bit of disdain because she was a strange woman picking him up and kissing him on the cheek. With how smart he is, I'm sure that if they would have given him some direction he would have acted appropriately. But, they don't know that Big's not a typical 3 year old. 

My favorite part was when Big ran into his "mother's" arms for the first time and as she lifted him in the air she let out a little grunt. It made me giggle because she sounded an awful lot like me. Big brings that out in people. Once in her arms, after enduring a snuggle and a kiss, Big very firmly said, "Put me down." So she did. He let her keep doing it for every take, though. What a long-suffering kid.

Not to diminish Ginger's fabulous performance of course. She did great. I was just so amazed at how well Big took to it all. He absolutely loved it. So much so that he hurriedly got dressed this morning and brought me his socks and shoes, saying, "Hurry, Mom. Let's put on our socks and shoes so we can go to the movie set!" He was crushed when I told him we don't get to go anymore, that his part was finished. 

Poor kid. He just needs a job.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Smart Start

Bud isn't the only one playing baseball this year-- Big is playing, too. Well, when he's not hungry, too tired, bored, or distracted by trucks with trailer hitches. None of our other kids started sports this early, but I thought that with Big's extreme love of balls and great coordination that getting him involved was a must. 

I was sorta right. 

I haven't decided yet if his occasional lack of focus is due to his age or the format. Probably both. I know that Big doesn't like the format-- it's a parent/child program to teach 3-4 year olds the fundamentals of baseball. He gets bored running the drills and not all of the coaches are very personable. I have no doubt that if he were able to play a real game he'd be all on top of it. 

Still, he has fun. 

Part of the time. 

He really didn't like the one coach who was unenthusiastic and mumbled. When he was doing her drill is when he said, very loudly, "Baseball is BORING!" I think he actually wanted to say that the coach was boring, but I've raised my children to be tactful.

He sure is a lot of fun to watch, though. 

They always start the practice by warming up their arms. This is where I think the boredom starts to set in-- they have to throw for a long time because so many people are always late. But, the good part about everyone else being late is that Big can claim his favorite spot to throw from. 

Calling for the #5 pitch-- a change-up...

They have the kids hit koosh balls hanging from a stick. Not Big's favorite, I think. He was much happier this week when they let him hit balls his dad pitched to him.

Next, they did more throwing. This is when Big announced to the team how boring baseball is. (I love how he throws like he's shooting a basketball)

I think what annoyed Big the most about the drill, even more than the boring coach and its repetitive nature, is how the other kids kept knocking the cone over. So annoying! The OCD in me was glad he fixed it.

I love how he gives the cone the eye as he makes his throw, making sure that it's going to stay put.

And then even more throwing (sorry, Big), through a hula hoop this time. He took care of the cone at this station, too. I'm glad Big understands the importance of such a thing.

It's about now that Big started to get really hungry and tired of the whole thing. He made it through this drill (barely) and then had a meltdown. It was really hot so we weren't super sad to go. It was just more throwing anyway. 

Man, he's cute!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To a T

Bud is so excited that he is able to play t-ball this year. He has been looking forward to it for years. His season is just past the midway point and I finally managed to get some pictures (That doesn't sound like me, does it? And of course it was on the sunniest, too-bright-for-pictures day). 

We bought Bud his own helmet and, as you can see in the pictures, he pretty much wears it the entire time he's playing. It reminds Rophone and me of the Jack in the Box commercials and makes us giggle. At least he'll be safe. Well, except for the possible neck strain he might suffer.

Bud's a pretty consistent batter-- he hits it pretty much the same distance, to the same side of the field, every time. 

Making a Baywatch run at first...

And then he played first. Yup, with the helmet still on. It causes some confusion, actually.  It's pretty tough to run the bases, too, what with all the fielders wanting to stand on the base along with the runner. The kids take the coach literally when she tells them what position she wants them to play. No matter how many times you tell the kids they don't have to stand on the bag when they're playing the position, they don't seem to believe it. 

Wait! I can't believe it! I hollered at him and he listened-- I can actually see space between him and first base! 

This is truly a date to be remembered. Although, now it looks like the other kid should have the mitt since he took his helmet off. So confusing, this t-ball thing.

Make the play, Bud!

The next inning he went and played catcher. For that position he is supposed to wear his helmet, so it's a good fit. Plus, he takes his job of ball retrieval and placement on the tee very seriously. You can tell.

I am so glad Bud is finally getting a chance to play because he really loves it. I can't wait until his next game! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Graduate

Pen graduated! Yup. She is now officially a middle schooler. Hard to believe. Since I'm only 25 and all. 

Here's a picture of the principal as he gets the festivities started. He's pretty great.

Amazingly enough, Pen had perfect attendance for the year. I guess that our religious use of hand sanitizer (due to Rophone's lowered immune system) must have worked. Here's a shot of blurry Pen receiving her certificate from her blurry teacher:

Ta-da! Pen is so thrilled. Obviously.

We were treated to a few musical numbers, as well. It wasn't until later that Big started to growl (making me think that Abominable Big was coming back!), so I was able to enjoy it.

The graduation was so real that they even had a speaker! (It was now that Big started to growl, but I didn't mind because the speaker was a tad long-winded. The distraction was nice.) 

Then it was time for the diplomas! 

Pen looked beautiful (and blurry) as she accepted her diploma and extras from her mostly blurry teachers. It wasn't me or my camera, of course, that made them that way. They just are.

A few more musical numbers...

..and a slideshow (yes, I refrained from taking pictures of the pictures) and...



For whatever reason, Pen's 'awkward years' seem to be soooo much less awkward than mine thus far. I don't know why for sure, but I have a slight inkling that it's because she wasn't a tomboy who let a sister cut her hair so it was spiked on top and had a duck-tail, resulting in a few new girls crushing on her for a couple of weeks before they found out she was a girl...


Just a tad.

Congratulations, Pen! We love you!