Saturday, July 30, 2011


We have a resident worker guy here at the house. His name is Joe, and he's 40 like me. His birthday is just the day before mine in fact. He does lots of sweet things for me and makes me call him 'Honey'. I think he's got a bit of a crush. 

Tonight, Joe installed hydraulic cylinders on my kitchen cabinets. No more having to manually open cupboard doors around here! The hydraulic cylinders are going to make my life a breeze!

I fixed Joe dinner as payment for all of his hard work. Like a good gentleman, Joe took off his hat while he was seated at the table for his meal. Every few minutes while he was eating he would ask us, "Do I look funny without my hardhat on?" or, "Don't I look funny without my hardhat?"

Joe didn't seem to believe us when we told him he looked fine, so we finally all agreed that he does, indeed, look funny without his hardhat on. Hilarious. We breathed a sigh of relief when he was done eating and could once again put his hat on and resume working. 

Thanks for all of your hard work, Joe!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. We had to drive home from our vacation last Saturday. That's not one of my favorite things, but I love that I was heading home with all but one little grocery bag of our clothes washed and folded. Having a washer and dryer when you vacation with a family of 7 makes things a lot easier when you get home.

2. I started a new photo challenge this week. I'm feeling quite rusty, and I get slightly panicky feelings when I start trying to imagine what I'll do next (just like during the last challenge), but I kind of like it.

3. Edith can sit up all by herself for a few minutes at a time now. Not bad for a just-turned-five-month old.

4. Ginger and Bud have been spending the week at my sister's house. They are getting the chance to spend time with cousins, try a lot of new foods, and do a lot of activities they wouldn't be able to do here. They're having a great time. Thanks for coming up with the idea, sis, I know they'll remember it forever!

5. I have finally got a few little tomatoes on some of my tomato plants! Hopefully the late start and extra wet and cool spring won't keep us from enjoying veggies from our garden.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Five Months with Edith

Edith turned 5 months old yesterday. Crazy! It's so hard to believe how fast time is flying. We have learned a lot about Edith in the past month.

She is well aware of where her toes are now, and is so kind as to often hold on to them while I change her diaper so her feet are out of the way. Her next goal is to figure out how to get them in her mouth.

Edith has started patting herself with her open hand on the tummy, chest and legs. I think she likes the pat-pat sound it makes. It's super cute.

Walks are something that Edith enjoys immensely. She loves to get out of the house, and when I ask her if she wants to go somewhere she always smiles and will sometimes squeal and laugh with delight at the prospect of breaking free of the house.

I feel a bit mean when I eat in front of Edith these days. She looks at our food so longingly, doing practice chews with her mouth. The kid just wants food. I can't wait until we can give it a go in 3 weeks or so.

We just returned from a family reunion, which was Edith's first trip. Her first really long ride in the car. We discovered that she is great for a 10 hour car ride-- it's just too bad that the drive was 13+ hours... Edith did really great even after the 10 hour mark, though, just a bit of moaning.

Edith loved vacation. At first she wasn't so sure about all the family around and all the noise (there were 30 of us, after all), but now that we're home I can tell she misses the attention and all the fun things we got to do.

She has really begun to master the playing with toys thing. Edith can grab what she wants and doesn't let go until she wants to. She is even practicing her fine motor skills with labels and other little flaps she finds on her toys.

There's this look that Edith gives you that makes you feel like she thinks you're nuts. A real look of concern for your mental well-being. (I probably shouldn't be speaking in generalizations, it's most likely just me she's worried about) It always makes me smile. Thanks for worrying about me, Edith! 

Just within the past few days, Edith has started reaching out to people she wants to go to. It isn't a regular occurrence yet, but it will be soon.

Another new thing Edith's been doing is something that my little brother, Rib, used to do. She puts the pad of her thumb against a hard surface, presses down, and then swivels the rest of her hand back and forth above it, fingers extended. Almost like she's squishing a bug under her thumb or something. It's cute.

We have been practicing the binky thing, too. She keeps it in sometimes now. So nice when she's tired and just can't seem to settle down. Although I did catch her sucking her thumb today, so the ultimate victor has yet to be decided. 

I can tell that Edith is going to be a mover and a shaker-- she gets so frustrated at her inability to do more than spin in circles on her tummy that I wonder if she'll be an early walker. She's already trying to do some sort of army crawl, so I guess we'll see.

I swear the girl already seems to have a three word vocabulary-- 'hi', 'yeah', and 'good'. Hmmm... time to correct my little swearing "problem" it seems. 

We love you, Edith! We're glad you came our way!

Family Reunion: Family Photos

A must for a family reunion is some family photo taking. We first attempted to take a shot of my parents with all 18 of their grandchildren. The girls were all wearing the dresses or aprons my parents brought back from Armenia. 

Oh, so much enthusiasm.

A bit better...

I love the way Edith is looking at my dad in this funny-face shot:

Then, when you move on to the pictures of the siblings both with my parents and without, there is perhaps too much enthusiasm. I was smiling so hard my face scrunched up and my teeth looked like dentures on the verge of popping out of my mouth.

When I mentioned this, my family came to the logical conclusion that we should all roll our upper lips under to achieve a uniform look. Makes complete sense. To us.

But first, a brief tutorial for our mother..

Okay, here goes..

I think her lipstick must be keeping her from achieving the desired effect. Let's give it another try.

Raising the eyebrows definitely helped.

I will now pause for a picture of the folks before we get into the shenanigans again. 

They look completely normal, don't they? Don't fall for it, it's an act. How else would they have created such weird children?

We do look pretty normal here, though:

And here, too:

But, really, we were just scheming... produce THIS!!!

Ta Da! Being on top of a pyramid when you're 40 may not be completely normal in your world, but in our world it is! (Note: no siblings were killed or otherwise maimed in the filming of this pyramid)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Family Reunion: Park and Pool

While the older kids were off doing older kid things (ie. bike rides, swimming at the outdoor pool, and the Paulina Plunge), and when we weren't busy playing in the family tennis tournament, Rophone and I did things with the younger kids. We spent most of our time at the park and the indoor pool. The weather, while perfect for participating in most of our outdoor activities, was a little cool (and breezy in the afternoons) to brave the outdoor pools. Of these things, I managed to take pictures. Of whatever the older kids were doing, well... use your imaginations!

At the park, the kids spent a lot of time on a huge rock which they named 'Planet Zar'. I have very similar pictures of the girls from the last time we were here, seven years ago.

I think the best part of visiting 'Planet Zar' is the dismount.

The kids all really enjoyed the big metal slide, too. That old-school slide is the best one in the park, of course. Fast enough to put some wind in their hair, anyway.

I also took a few shots of Bud with his cousin, The Wizard. They will both be starting first grade in the fall, the little sweetie pie thugs. (They have another cousin, The Tornado, who will be in first grade, too, but he had to go home a little early. Having all three of them would have made the pictures even better. Next time.)

I tried getting a picture of my niece, Cindy Lou, but her mom (my sister) wouldn't stop telling her what to do...

...but then I told my sister to shut her yap and got a nice shot.

Not only was the park fun for the kids, but it has some lovely shade so we adults (and Edith!) could sit and enjoy ourselves. (Not without some visits, of course. That Edith is popular.)

I mean, look at that face!

Edith just loved the fact that she had more than a week straight to hang with her bestie.

They were just happy to be together. 

Even when the wind picked up.

Hmmm... I just realized that this post is already ridiculously long and I haven't even mentioned the pool yet. Oh, well. Just know that the kids had fun and the water was too cold for Edith (note Bud's purple lips). Other than that, I think we'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

You can tell we're having a blast, can't you? Honestly, we were. I just wish I could have taken more pictures of everyone doing all the varieties of things we did (I know you must shudder to think of how long my posts would be!)

On the last afternoon, I managed to take Pen, Ginger and Bud to play tennis with my mom, their cousin, Newton, and his dad, so I guess I could have taken pictures of them then. But, I didn't. I played. I suppose actually playing with my children isn't such a bad substitute for taking pictures of them playing by themselves. I'll take it.