Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nine Months with Edith

Nine?!? Wow!

I just need to warn you that this post will be very picture heavy. What can I say? I think Edith is just about the cutest thing out there. Now, read on if you want to, and don't complain. 

Edith, like all of our kids, is a real music lover. She tends to favor the heavier stuff, but it has to have a real groove to it. Her favorite songs are "Barracuda" by Heart, "Paris" by Grace Potter, and anything by the Foo Fighters. She totally hangs her mouth open and dances while they play. It's an awesome thing to witness. Edith is quite the dancer. She started out just doing the head and upper body bob, but has now progressed to adding in hip thrusts and shoulder shimmies. You go, girl!

I know this first picture makes it look like Edith is crawling but, much to our surprise and her frustration, she's not. She gets into position and starts to move forward, only to lower herself onto her tummy instead. The ability is there, but I think she's nervous. I'm sure she'll conquer her fear any day now, though.

Edith has some favorite go-to toys these days. Aside from books, stacking cups, and things she's not supposed to have, she has three in particular that need mentioning. 

She really loves shoes, so I gave her a pair of new, too small baby shoes to play with. Since they haven't really been worn, they're pristine and perfect for chewing on. Much better than the super dirty shoe of Big's that I found her licking the bottom of yesterday. Blech. Edith loves to fiddle with the laces and stretch out one lace while she holds the shoe in the other hand. Great for hand-eye coordination. 

Another one of Edith's favorite toys is a huge magnifying glass. The boys each got one a few years ago for Christmas, and Edith has appropriated one of them. Oh, and she has two teeth now, See?

I love that she not only chews on it and holds it, but also has figured out how fun it is to look through. 

I also think it's awesome that she's licked it so much that it makes her face look blurry in this next photo:

Edith holds it like this a lot, too. The magnifying glass boom box, perhaps?

Or, it could just be that the cool plastic soothes her irritated skin. Edith sure didn't react well to something I fed her recently. I need to figure that one out.

I love her expression in this next photo: 

Edith loves to snuggle things with faces, giving them loves and pats while she rocks from side to side. It's so cute. She especially loves a beat up baby doll of Ginger's. Licking its little old bald head is one of her favorite pastimes. 

My favorite thing about when Edith plays with the baby doll is how she imitates the types of things Edith and I do when we interact (no, I don't lick Edith's little head-- her hair gets on my tongue).  

When I have Edith on her back to get her dressed or change her diaper, I will frequently play with her little toes and clap her little chubby feet together. Believe me, if you heard the cute little clapping sound her feet make you wouldn't be able to resist, either. 

So, Edith does these things with the baby doll. And, I'm sure this will come as no surprise, she sings and jabbers away the whole time. Like that's something I do, or something. 

Then when she's done, she picks up the baby and gives it a hug and a pat. 

On the head. Ouch. 

I don't do that, I swear. 

"You don't?"

Well, she shouldn't have moved her hand when I tried to give her a high five. It was an accident, I swear!

Maybe she'll forgive me one day. We love you Edith!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving was yesterday so I guess this should be easy, right? Just because it's Thanksgiving doesn't mean my memory is any better...

1. I finally installed the pads on the front of the scary fireplace. Hopefully it will keep Edith from marring her pretty face or chipping any teeth. On the edge anyway.

2. My sister, Auntie Opera, came to hang out with us on Wednesday. We took the kids on a fun hike up the canyon. The weather was great and the kids had a great time with their aunt. 

taken by Pen

I wish we could have hiked for longer, but Edith was getting ready for a nap. 

3. We have really been enjoying being together as a family for the long weekend. 

4. I cooked a marvelous Thanksgiving feast yesterday (if I do say so myself). Turkey, gravy, cranberry, cornbread stuffing, orange mashed potatoes, peas, rolls... I haven't eaten like that in a long time. It tasted great, but I'm glad it's not something that we do very often.

5. This morning we went bowling. We started the tradition last year, and I'm sure it's one we'll continue. It was perfect and a total blast. I love how seriously Bud takes it, and how Big raises his arms in victory when he gets even just a few pins, and how Ginger looks like the ball is going to rip her skinny little arm off, and how Pen runs up to the line with the ball to release it. It's just fun!

Last year we went in the afternoon and it was a bit busy, so this year we went right when they opened at 10 am. Going during black friday shopping was definitely a good idea-- the bowling alley was a ghost town. Just the way we like it. We're definitely going at the same time again next year. I can't wait.

6. I'm eating leftovers today. Not much work and so nummy. Yay!

7. I'm watching Big air drum right now. Totally awesome. It makes me smile. 

8. I can't wait to have fun for the rest of the weekend. I'm going to go do that now. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turning Muppet

Big and I were pretending the other day when he said, "I'm pretending you're pregnant because you still have a fat tummy, Mommy." Nice. Apparently my tummy must still be really fat-- he had me give birth to twins, Bill and Moira. You'd think that since it's pretend, he could pretend my stomach is flat. Without stretch marks. 

The sad part is that I weigh less now than when I got married. When my stomach really was flat. That must mean that my arms and legs are much skinnier than they were back then. 

Egads, I've turned into a muppet.

My rear end seems to be trying to help matters, though. It's sliding down the backs of my thighs to try to help bulk my legs back up. So thoughtful. 

I'll buy my butt a thank you card when I find one with an appropriate message. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Favorites

I contemplated not writing this today. Just because I have written 555 posts, and it seems a shame to ruin such a cool number. But I guess I can't stop now. I suspect I'm going to have to keep the blog until all the kids are out of the house. Only 17 1/2 years to go. Heavens.

Guess I'd better get started. 

1. I finally made the pumpkin scones I'd been threatening my kids with for a few weeks. The kids ate them on Saturday for breakfast, morning snack, and tried to convince me that they should have them for lunch, too. I guess that means they were a hit. (Although, next time I think I'll leave off the spiced icing and cut them smaller.)

2. Saturday afternoon, my sister, Auntie Art, brought her family over for a baby-food-making fest. It was a lot of fun to hang out with her and get her set up with a nice stash of baby food to have around for her boys. We had dinner together, too. It was just so nice to have someone over. We don't do it often enough.

3. Rophone was terribly sick at the beginning part of the week (and it wasn't even because of Crohn's!). That's not the 'favorite' thing-- the thing I'm happy about is that he got the medicine he needs to get feeling better. And he is.

4. Pen performed in the Nutcracker 2 nights this week. She did a great job. I'm so glad that she gets to have the experience every year. 

5. Because Pen performed in the Nutcracker this week, it means we no longer have to take her to Friday night rehearsals. We have our Friday nights back! Maybe one of these days we'll actually get to use one for a date or something. Crazy talk, I know.

6. I'm really enjoying the cooler fall weather. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in one more hike before it gets really cold.

7. Making baby food still makes me so happy. The baby has now tried broccoli and asparagus this week-- two things that none of my other kids had this early. It's not like they make a jarred version. Not that I'd want to give her a jarred version. Can you imagine how overcooked and nasty they'd be? Anyway, I just love how many good foods she is being exposed to. And she likes them! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Same

Big (playing the role of Eva) and I were enjoying playing catch with the football yesterday, when he announced that he doesn't want to be a boy anymore except when he's at school. "I want to be a girl, Mom. I want to be Eva." I started asking him about why he wants to be a girl, trying not to ask him leading questions, but he couldn't articulate a reason. "I just do." he said. 

I then told Big about how when I was a little girl I wanted to be a boy really badly. "You did?" he asked in total disbelief. Yup. It's the truth. I wanted to be able to take my shirt off when I played outside and pee standing up and be in cub scouts. I took my shirt off a few times and got in trouble, tried to pee standing up and made a mess, and made the most of girl scouts (But it just wasn't the same. Except for the cookies part. That rocked). 

When I told Big the story, he got the sweetest, knowing look on his face and said to me happily, "Do you know what that means, Mom? We're the same!" I could tell that he felt better about his feelings and was so happy to know that he's not alone. Then Big said the best thing to me. "Mom, I'm glad you're not a boy, because if you were a boy then you wouldn't be my mommy. You're the best mom in the world and I love you."

I love you, too, Eva.

And then we went into the bathroom and trimmed Big's bangs. After we were done he examined himself in the mirror to see how I did and we had this conversation:

Me: "You're a handsome boy." (Oops. Always forgetting to refer to him as a girl.)

Big: "I know. But I'm not a very pretty girl."

Me: "That's true. You wouldn't make a very pretty girl."

Big: "Huh."

Then, today, Big let me know that he really does like being a boy better, but just enjoys pretending to be a girl. Okay. That works for me. I came to the same conclusion about being a girl. 

Guess we are the same.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Edith and I were having a fun time hanging out on Thursday while Big was at school. I had to leave the room for a moment, and when I came back I caught Edith doing this:

It looks so awesome. But odd. Is a baby her age supposed to be holding a book that way?

Okay, now this is starting to look more normal.

There we go. Now Edith is looking like a proper baby again.

For a minute there I was worried that we might have another smartypants on our hands.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Favorites

Another week. 

1. Edith is poised on the brink of crawling, so we went out and got a pad for the edge of the fireplace hearth. I've never gotten one before, but this fireplace is particularly rocky and mean looking. I hope it works. 

2. We finally got a highchair for Edith and I am so excited. I have been feeding her while she sits in the Bumbo, but it just wasn't working anymore because it allowed her waaay too much freedom of movement. Edith hates to sit still and was constantly twisting and turning, leaning down to see what was on the floor, trying to suck on her toes... let's just say none of it was very amenable to getting her fed. I love the highchair because it's a highchair and I'm so glad to have it.

3. I know I've said this before, but I really love my baby food maker. The kiwi baby food I made for Edith was a big hit and she liked it even more the next day when I mixed it with pear. Heck, I think it's nummy, too. And, it gives me such satisfaction to know that I'm feeding my baby something good and I know exactly what's in it. Awesome.

4. I played one-on-one basketball with Big one evening this week and had a blast. I had a great time, even though I couldn't seem to get ahead. But, as they say, it's a poor scorekeeper who can't keep himself in the lead. Hopefully we'll be able to do it more in the near future. 

5. I played soccer with Big a few times this week, too. Man, that kid can kick the ball!

6. The kids have been doing a lot of biking lately and Bud is getting a lot more comfortable on two wheels. It's so great to see his confidence grow.

7. I went with Bud and Ginger to meet with their teachers this week for SEP Conferences (Student/Educator/Parent). They are both doing so well and are loved and admired by their teachers and fellow students. That kind of stuff always makes me feel good as a parent. 

I especially loved when Bud's teacher thanked me for 'letting Bud have the first grade experience' (since she obviously knows he could very easily be moved ahead). We both think that first grade is an important one for getting into the flow of school, but who knows what we'll do in the future. (Bud's so young for his grade-- is it fair to move him up, thus making it so he won't be able to drive until the end of his junior year? Such a dilemma. And, really, he's doing 3rd grade work right now. What to do?)

Anyway, I just love my kids and am happy that they're doing so well.

8. Edith can get back up to sitting from being on her tummy. Cool. I also think it's great that Edith can shake her head 'no' when she doesn't want something or doesn't like something. She can also say 'don't', which I think is hilarious. I love it when my kids start being able to voice their opinions and exert their independence. Awesome.

9. I thought it was hilarious when I picked Big up from preschool on Thursday and his ultra-nice teacher said, "We sure are enjoying Big. He has quite the sense of humor." Yes, yes, he certainly does. I felt like saying, "Ya think?" But she doesn't know what it's like at home. (If only she knew that I have to make him promise as we're driving to school that he'll just be Big while he's there) I'm just glad that Big is feeling comfortable enough at school to begin letting his personality emerge. His teacher has no idea what she's in for... ; )

10. Oh, and on Monday, Edith started clapping. She's super proud of herself. So cute.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big's Personalities

I know I've mentioned it on here before, but Big very rarely is himself. He seems to always be playing some other role and stays in character better than anyone I've seen. I am constantly forgetting who he's supposed to be and, I don't know why, but I'm still surprised every time a new personality emerges-- I guess I'm always figuring he must have met his limit by now. But, no. In fact, Big surprised me with a new character the other night at bedtime:

Me: "Hey, Big! Come and get your jammies on! It's time to get ready for bed."

Big: (no answer)

Me: "Big! Where are you? I've got your pajamas in the family room. Come get ready for bed!"

Big: (no answer)

Me: "Bi-iiiig! Hey, come on!"

Big: (as he pops his head around the doorframe) "But, Mom. It's Tina."

Yet another to add to the list. It's quite the list, you know. Hmm.. I probably really should make a list instead of just talking about a list that doesn't really exist. It would be nice to have a record of them for us to look back on, I suppose, but I'm quite sure that I won't be able to remember them all*. Let's see...

1. Taylor Hawkins (real-- one of his drummer heros)
2. Dave Grohl (real-- a drummer hero)
3. Raja Bell (real-- a basketball player)
4. Derrick Favors (real-- a basketball player)
5. Nina (real-- the neighbor is nice, but Big's NIna is a bit of a witch)
6. Sandra Burn (fictional-- she likes to clean)
7. Angelina Johnson (fictional-- a Quidditch player in Harry Potter)
8. Joe (fictional-- a worker guy and my sometimes husband who is 42 and calls me 'Honey')
9. Alexandra (real-- a neighbor girl he admires)
10. Tina (fictional)
11. CJ Miles (real-- a basketball player)
12. Sarah (fictional)
13. Dad (when he plays the part of Rophone he insists that Rophone play the part of 'Big')
14. Maximus (fictional-- a horse)
15. Jake (real-- a neighbor boy he saw playing football)
16. Tim Alexander (real-- a drummer)
17. Devin Harris (real-- a basketball player)
18. Eva (real--a girl he goes to school with)
19. Mason (fictional)
20. Megan (real-- a neighbor girl he admires)
21. Violet (fictional-- a character from a book)
22. Savannah (fictional)
23. Powen (fictional)
24. Momoka (real-- a classmate of Ginger's)
25. Frank
26. Mia
27. Joseph (real-- a neighbor, and where it all started when Big was two)

Not to mention all of the different animals he pretends to be throughout the day...

Tyrannosaurus Rex

It is really mind boggling. A sample day may go something like this: I'll feed breakfast to Alexandra, play football with Jake, clean with Sandra Burn, eat a bloody-flesh-of-other-dinosaurs lunch with Tyrannosaurus, read to Sarah, do yard work with Joe, watch Taylor Hawkins play drums (and have to tell him how good he is), then he might switch back to Joe to do some home repairs, and then back to Alexandra for dinner. Who knows. I very rarely do. 

The crazy part is that he is talking non-stop the entire time he plays the parts, referring to himself as the character he is playing, telling me what he/she is doing and instructing me on what I need to be doing. And, he acts completely differently with each one. It's just so mind numbing after a while. Big switches without telling me, too, so I get reprimanded a lot. He also corrects me if I forget to refer to him as a girl when he's playing one. Boy, it's tough.

Luckily, though, it is so often totally hilarious that it makes it all worthwhile. Like, take the other afternoon for instance:

Me: "Big, why don't you go to the bathroom. I think you may need to go."

Big: "I'm sorry. I can't. My little, teeny Tyrannosaurus arms can't reach my pants."

I told him to go and use magic. 

I just love how almost every morning Big walks into the kitchen when he awakens and says, "Do you know who I am?" No. I really don't.

It's definitely never dull with Big (and his many personalities) around. How totally boring our lives would be without them.

*I reserve the right to add to the list at any time my mind decides to remember more.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. I had fun fishing with the boys last Saturday. I forget sometimes how much I really do love the outdoors.

2. Halloween was a lot of fun. Rophone took all of the kids out, so I got to relax for a few minutes here and there while I waited for the doorbell to ring.

3. My handsome Rophone turned 40 this week. His birthday was a very low-key affair, but that seems to be the way he likes it. I might have to do a bit more next year, though. I think he'll like that, too, if I do it right.

4. Edith said 'ball' this week. For real. The boys pointed out this morning that she also seems to say 'bamboo', but that one's not on purpose.

5. I have a husband who is thoughtful and kind. He supports me and encourages me. Awesome, huh?

Okay, that's pretty much it. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We had a great Halloween this year. Well, it kind of had an annoying ending, but I'll get to that. At the end.

It all started off with the carving of pumpkins. Pen didn't carve hers until the next night (too much homework), and I forgot to take pictures. Oops. Pen and Ginger carved their own again this year and they all turned out great. 

The pumpkins and their owners L to R: Ginger, Big, Bud, Edith, and Pen.

I loved all the nice comments and reactions our pumpkins garnered on Halloween night. I felt guilty accepting the accolades, though. It's really amazing what you can do with one of those kits. The girls who asked me if the pumpkins were real (and were amazed when I said they were) made my night. So funny.

Halloween afternoon, I took Big and Edith to watch Bud in the school Halloween parade. Ginger got to go roller skating instead of having to walk in costume. We got there early to get a seat, they started late, and I managed to get two not great in focus shots as he walked by. 

Oh, well. At least Big and I got to dance and air drum to 'Thriller' while we waited.

I snapped some photos of all of the kids in their costumes before they headed out for candy. I think all of their costumes turned out great. Here's Big as a happy Worker Guy:

Okay, scratch the happy part.

Bud went as an awfully happy Dementor. 

I prefer them happy, but when I asked Bud if Dementors are supposed to be happy he tried to remedy the situation.

Ginger went as a Happy Homemaker. I tried to get her to carry a wooden spoon, but she didn't want to carry something else. She still looks super cute, though.

Then there's Pen as the happy Princess. But, of course she's happy. Being a princess is a sweet gig if you can land it.

I left our newest trick-or-treater for last. The cutest (and happiest!) kitty on the block. 

I see a kitty who loves her daddy. That's for sure.

Rophone took the kids out trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Even Edith got to go in her stroller, although she had to regretfully decline all of the candy she was offered. She's not very happy about it and yells at the kids when they eat their candy in front of her. I can tell she thinks it's rude of them. 

When Rophone dropped a tired Big and Edith off midway through, Edith had the funniest look on her face. She was kind of smiling when I asked her if she had fun, but looked terribly bewildered, like she wasn't sure if what she had just witnessed was really true. I think it was dawning on her what a strange, yet awesome, tradition it all is. Next year should be so fun for her.

The kids all made a nice haul. I told them I'm not going to ration their candy, but the rule is that if anyone barfs they get to clean it up themselves. A fair deal, it seems.

Okay, as for the annoying ending. After the kids were all in bed, the lights and pumpkins were out and Rophone and I were settled in for some adult conversation (no, really, it was conversation!), there was a knock at the door. At 10 o'clock! Some out-of-neighborhood teenagers were looking for candy. When Rophone mentioned the late hour they reacted a little belligerently, but Rophone gave them candy anyway just to try to get rid of what we had left. Nice guy. 

Because Rophone was so nice, it made us sad this morning to see that Big's pumpkin had been taken and smashed into the street. I can't say for sure that it was those teens, but I can say for sure that it was lame. SO lame.

Big was so cute about it, too. First, reassuring me that he didn't think any of his friends had done it (because he runs with such a rough crowd, don't you know), and then trying to come up with other ideas as to how it had happened. "Maybe the wind blew it into the street." "Maybe one of them accidentally tripped over my pumpkin and it rolled into the street." "Maybe they thought it was a ball and tried to play catch." He just can't fathom that anyone would want to be so mean. Poor, sweet kid. 

Big did let me know that it is something he will never, ever do when he gets older. He never wants to make another kid feel the way he does about what happened to his pumpkin. He's pretty logical about it, anyway. "Well, Halloween's over and we were just going to throw it away, and I can just get another one next year!" Way to have a positive attitude, Big! 

But it still doesn't make what was done okay. Not okay at all. Pumpkin-smashing-meanies.