Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites

I just remembered to do this-- good thing it's Friday for another hour around here, otherwise I might have felt some guilt.

1. The kids didn't have school on Monday, so we were able to enjoy a 3 day weekend as a family. We took it pretty easy since Rophone only got out of the hospital on Friday, but it was still a lot of fun. 

2. Rophone didn't return to work until Wednesday, so I got an extra day with him once the kids returned to school. I like hanging out with him.

3. We went on a little family "hike" this afternoon and had a blast. I call it a "hike" because the trail was paved and wasn't very long, but it was perfect for Rophone and his vow to not overdo. The kids got to play at the base of a waterfall and Edith loved watching them. I dipped Edith's feet in the ice cold water and got quite a reaction. It was a lot of fun. I can't believe I forgot my camera, though, so it looks like we'll have to do it again soon so I can document it. 

Now I just need to gear up for a busy weekend-- Pen will be 13 on Sunday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Art of the Tantrum

As I mentioned in my last post, Edith has perfected the art of the tantrum. And because they only last a minute or two, we find them to be funny and adorable. It's a perfect situation-- she gets to get her mad on and let out some steam, we get a little chuckle, and then we all move on. 

I am going to post the photos of the tantrum she performed the other day in the exact order I took them, so you can experience her tantrum exactly as I did. Here we go:

"I thought you were going to pick me up."

"Seriously, you're not going to pick me up?"

"What about you? Are you gonna do something?"

"I have the lamest family in the world! They abandoned me in my time of need and I'm terribly upset by it. My almost-thirteen-year-old sister is right!"

"I am seriously so mad about this that I am going to kill you with my laser beam eyes! Unless my head explodes first!"

"Woah. That took a lot of energy. I feel like I'm running out of steam."

"Okay. A break is definitely in order. Why was I crying, anyway?"

"Oh, now I remember. Mean Mom. She really hurt my feelings"

"And she made me mad, that's right."

"Hey, I've got good lungs! I wonder how long I can sustain a yell."

Petering out... stick with it...

"Ooh! What a pretty dress!"

The End.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seven Months with Edith

Edith continues to be a fantastic baby and we love to have her around. Rophone and I decided that she came along to keep us from becoming bitter, curmudgeonly parents. Life is a little hard right now, so we're glad she's around to help us be more joyful.

She doesn't have any teeth yet, but still has those bumps in the back where her molars will be so she loves any kind of toy she can gnaw on. Edith goes to town on her linking letters and her favorite teething ring, trying to figure out how to shove them far enough into her little mouth to provide some relief.

The poor girl didn't get a long enough afternoon nap so she kept on having to take breaks to rub her eyes. So cute.

Edith took breaks to check out her lovely little dress, too.

And to show off her legs, of course. Still rockin' the rolls, as you can see.

Oh, and Edith wanted to show you another little skill she's acquired. The tantrum. 

She really started working on her tantrums just before last month's post, but now has it down to an art. So much so, that I think I'll do another post about it. The good thing is, though, that her tantrums only last about a minute (this time due to the fact that she thought I was going to pick her up, but didn't) and then she's back to her normal self. No hard feelings, see?

The smart cookie has even figured out that if you use the floor to shove your teething ring in you can more easily access the far reaches of your mouth.

Plus, it leaves one hand free to fiddle with other things she finds interesting.

All of that teething can be hard work, so sometimes a rest is in order. Phew!

Edith still loves to suck on her toes and I will often find her gnawing on her big toe with gusto. She has better foot-to-mouth coordination now, so rarely pokes herself in the eye or scratches herself on the forehead anymore. I didn't actually capture a photo of her in the act, but will try to do so for a future post.

Edith still isn't a big fan of baby food. I have noticed that she really doesn't like it when I mix her food with rice cereal or oatmeal, but even giving her the food straight up doesn't produce great results. All of my old tried and true tricks get me nowhere. Or at least not anywhere very fast. 

Singing, dancing, funny faces, funny noises, tickling, reading books, pretending to eat, eating for real (this homemade baby food stuff is good!).... all for naught. I tell you, this kid is a hard case. Edith has perfected the closed mouth smile. I can sometimes breach it for a bite or two, but then she's on to my tricks. We have figured out that Edith definitely prefers vegetables to fruits, although I think her favorite to date has been the sweet potato/apple combo. I tried it. It's good!

I don't think it will be long before Edith is on the go. She gets so frustrated at her inability to move the way she'd like. She's getting close to figuring out how to get on her hands and knees and if we stand her up she tries to take off running. She's not really successful with that one, as you can imagine. The girl just loves to be out and about. We went as a family to Costco tonight and she hummed and sang with happiness the whole time. Seeing her joy and amazement gave me a new appreciation for warehouse stores. 

Having Edith around makes everything more special and exciting. We are all so happy she has joined our family. We love you Edith!

Tired Jaguar

Big was sitting at the table enjoying some after-lunch animal crackers while I ate my sandwich. He was giving me a commentary about what all of the different animals were doing before he popped them in his mouth.

Big: "This is my Jaguar."

Me: "Cool."

Big: "Jaguars run reeeaally fast."

Me: "Yup."

Big: "My jaguar likes to run, so he ran and he ran and he ran..... and then he got tired so he sat on the sidewalk and took a nap."

Ummm... yeah. City boy without a TV. 

Clearly I need to check out some books on different animals and their habitats. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. Rophone was back in the hospital for most of this week, so I wasn't sure there would be much to post. But then he walked in the door and things began really looking up. Yay! I'm so glad he was sprung today. Everything is just so much better when he's around. 

2. A fantastic neighbor brought us a meal last night. Sometimes thinking of what to feed the kids can be difficult, so it was nice to have one less thing to stress about.

3. I am making chili sauce with my mom today. Definitely a lot of work, but the results are worth it. Grilled/toasted cheese heaven. Num. 

4.. Things have been much less buggy around here since we declared war. The bug carcasses are way more preferable than the live versions.

5. I had a lovely yellow tomato from my garden for lunch today. I'm glad the garden is starting to produce at least a little before it gets too cold. 

I'm so excited about the 3 day weekend that's coming up. Hopefully Rophone will be feeling well enough that we can enjoy it as a family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. I am still managing to make the kids' home lunches exciting and fun. The kids have been loving all of the creative combinations and, of course, the homemade cookies. This week: chocolate chip.

2. Rophone had a rough week health-wise, but is feeling some better today. Hooray.

3. We got the house sprayed for spiders today. Not something I normally would do (I'm an organic kind of girl), but after killing probably 100 spiders in the past two weeks and knowing that there is a problem in the neighborhood this year with the highly venomous hobo spider, well... let's just say that I'm okay with it. I'm looking forward to vacuuming up a bunch of big spider carcasses. 

4. The house is really shaped up. We have been working hard this week to put things in order and it's looking great. I am such an anti-clutter girl. I have been putting things aside to donate and tomorrow will try on the shoes Pen outgrew to see which ones fit. Those that don't will be added to the donate pile. I love a good purge. Wahoo!

The Dementor's Friend

This morning Big was playing with his stuffed dinosaur when Bud ran up to him trying to scare him by pretending his hooded sweatshirt was a Dementor. I found it vaguely unsettling, but Big, not having read the Harry Potter books, was completely unfazed. 

Bud: I'm going to give you a kiss!

Big: I don't want a kiss. Do you have a friend?

Bud: Dementors don't have friends.

Big: Everyone has a friend. 

This brought to my mind a picture of two Dementors meeting for a drink after a long hard day sucking the life out of people. Or maybe one Dementor pushing another on the swing at a local park. 

The boys then went on their merry way, dinosaur and Dementor playing together. The dinosaur roaring and the Dementor sucking the life out of people. Best friends forever. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. I loved last weekend. It was a nice and relaxing 3-day hangout as a family. We got some things done, enjoyed one another, got to see my sister's twin boybies be blessed, and went to my folks' house to barbecue and roast s'mores on Labor Day. I was just glad to have three days with Rophone where he was feeling moderately good. 

2. It's official. Edith knows what she's saying when she says "Mama". She looks right at me when she's hungry or tired (or both!) and says "Mom" or "Mama". It can become a bit of a chant until I go and help her out. I'm just excited, because Edith's the first of the kids to say my name before saying "Dada". What can I say? She likes me.

3. I have been loving eating a little dairy this week. I've had mexican-type food the past two days and the little bit of cheese and sour cream makes my mouth happy. Oh, Dairy, how I've missed you!

4. Big started school this week and he loves it. I must admit, that I'm loving it, too. One morning when he was gone, Edith took a 2 hour nap. I looked around at all of the things I should be getting done while I had the free time and didn't do any of it. I relaxed. So heavenly. Plus, Big is much happier on school days. I wish he got to go more than 2 days a week.

5. Big and I had a great day today. When he was Sandra Burn, she Swiffered the kitchen and dining room and we made cookies with Edith. Then he "changed" himself into Jake and we played football and ate a lovely lunch. After lunch he was Joe and we talked worker trucks and construction and read a (really long) book about Fire Engines. We have a lot planned for tomorrow, too.

6. The weather is finally starting to get cooler. Aaaah. I can't wait for fall to really kick in.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Dream of Big

I fell asleep on the couch for a little while the other night and had the weirdest dream. I had a dream that Big got up in the middle of the night (unbeknownst to the rest of us who were all sleeping like you're supposed to in the middle of the night) and wandered down the hill to see what kind of fun he could find. I mean waaay down the hill, like a few miles away. 

In the dream, a neighbor from the city we used to live in came upon Big and managed to convince Big to tell him our phone number. It took him a little while, since Big really saw no problem with what he was doing. I mean, he is an adult four year old after all. When the neighbor's call roused me from my sleep I was, of course, shocked that Big had managed to leave the house without my knowledge and quickly made plans to go pick him up. 

When I arrived at the strip mall where they were waiting, my ex-neighbor proceeded to give me a lecture on good parenting. Lovely. The time wasn't wasted, however, as I spent the time he was lecturing me (of course I didn't listen!) planning out my lecture to Big. Oh, yeah. It was going to be a doozie.

I thanked the neighbor profusely and Big and I hopped in the limo for the ride home. A limo?? Up until that point, the dream didn't seem all that far-fetched. Like I said, Big is an adult four year old. 

As Big and I faced each other in the back of the limo I launched into my lecture. I couldn't wait. It was fantastically well-crafted (while I pretended to listen to my ex-neighbor) and was sure to make Big feel some remorse for his actions. I was sure of it. 

But, then, just after I started in, Big began to sing opera. Loudly. (Like there's any other volume for opera) I tried to continue on with my lecture, very frustrated, but it was difficult to speak over Big's loud singing. It was awfully fabulous, though. Magnificent, in fact. My heavens, Big is an opera prodigy! How did I never know this??

My mind quickly shifted from thoughts of my lecture to thoughts about how to capitalize on my son's incredible gift. The answer to our money woes was sitting right in front of me! Singing opera in the back of a limo at 3 am! My mind began tossing around ideas-- we could farm the kid out for weddings.... no, I needed to think on a grander scale. Then it came to me-- we could get Big on the morning talk show circuit. And on Letterman! That's filmed earlier in the day, right? Don't want to be accused of bad parenting again...

Then Big shut his mouth. And the music kept going. Nuts. He was lip-synching! There go all my grand plans. Straight in the crapper. 

But, wait.... he is a good lip-syncher. Really good. I was sitting just feet away from him in the back of the limo and couldn't even tell. (A Milli Vanilli flashback popped into my head) Hmmm... maybe there's some money to made from this after all. 

Waking up was a relief and a disappointment. Now I need to come up with some other grand plan. Nuts.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. On Sunday, Rophone took the kids to church while I stayed home with Edith who was in dire need of a nap. The few hours alone was much needed. Much. Thanks, Rophone.

2. The kids are still loving school. I am so glad to have children who really love to learn.

3. Edith is really saying "Mamamamama" a lot these days, and sometimes she even looks right at me and just says it one time, "Mama" or "Mom". Yes, she is probably just making the sound randomly (but with my kids, you never know). Anyway, it makes me feel good. 

4. My latest blog post made a friend laugh so hard that he drooled. That makes me feel good, too. 

5. Rophone surprised me by coming home a little early tonight. I was missing him terribly (rough day with Big/Nina/Joe), so it was an absolutely fantastic surprise. Plus, he managed to find the perfect little stuffed animal for Edith to sleep with. Hopefully she'll become so attached to it that she'll be eager to go to bed and see it. 

Not a bad week, really. There wasn't a heck of a lot going on, but that's good sometimes. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've been awfully tired lately-- I have been having trouble sleeping for some reason. This morning I even asked the kids, "So, do you want water or drink to milk?" Not the first time I've uttered that phrase, believe it or not. It seems to surface when I'm at my most exhausted. 

It doesn't help my poor, tired brain that Big has added yet another character to his long list of personalities. For the past few days he has been insisting that I call him Nina and refer to him using she/her. It can get awfully confusing at times, especially when he switches between characters throughout the day. Poor Edith doesn't know who her brother is. 

This is what happened when I praised Big for being a fantastic helper:

Me: "Thanks so much for helping, Big!"

Big: "Nina."

Me: "Oops. Sorry, Nina. But it really was such a big boy thing to do. I appreciate it."

Big: "Big girl."

Me: "What?"

Big: "A big girl thing to do."

Me: "Oh, yeah. Sorry. Thanks for doing such a big girl thing. You really are getting bigger!"

Big: "I know. Right now I only have nipples, but I'll be getting boobs soon!"

Of course. I can hardly wait.

The Worksite

As Big and I sat down to read together, Big drove the work truck he was holding up onto my chest. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, "The worksite is in the mountains." Thank heavens I'm nursing or he might have said that the worksite was in the low-lying hills. The low-lying hills with the loooong, gradual slope.