Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nineteen Months with Edith

It's true. Edith turned 19 months old on Thursday! I admit that it kind of snuck up on me, what with it being so unbelievable and all. I usually snap a bunch of extra photos of Edith on the actual month-birthday, but this month we'll have to make do with those that I took along the way. Thank heavens I'm prolific.

What a big helper Edith is! She has discovered how fun it is to do dishes. Shutting the dishwasher between each dish really makes it fun. When that grows boring, however, she can always ramp up the excitement by doing this:

Such an adrenaline junky.

A few new teeth are trying to make an appearance in Edith's mouth. This makes for some crankiness at times. She also spends some of her time trying to eat her fist. I'm pretty impressed, given how small her mouth is and everything. 

Edith is still cuddly and fun and has discovered the joy in taking photos, especially of herself. She often absconds with my phone (her favorite plaything, hands down) and I will frequently find photos of odd things on my camera roll. 

One of Edith's most liked things to do is to sit together just the three of us (me, her, and my phone), with her pushing the button to take her own photo. Over and over. Here is a shot I snapped of her pleased expression immediately after she took a shot. I love it. 

Shopping is a passion of Edith's-- both in the store and via catalogue. She has a definite opinion about what she'll wear, and the "oohs" and "ahhhs" as she sees things she likes kind of frighten me a bit. 

I think part of why the shopping-thing frightens me so much is because of Edith's obsession with money. She loves the stuff. She will say to Rophone, "Moneys. I need moneys. Give me moneys!" Then, when Rophone gives in like he always does (heaven-help-us-when-she's-a-teenager), she will admire it and giggle, obviously pleased with her acquisition. Then she tries to stick it in her bra, but since a bra doesn't exist it drops right through. She learned the stash-it-in-your-bra thing from my sister, Martha, by the way.

At least Edith is well-rounded. She is still obsessed with balls, roars like a lion, takes great care of her stuffed animals and baby doll, and loves being outside. Like Big, Edith gets restless if she is cooped up inside for too long. I'm glad I have these kids to keep me outside doing things, because sometimes I forget how much I love it, too. 

Thanks for making things fun, Edith. We love you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

1. Ginger and I spent some time in the kitchen together on Sunday. We made a new pasta salad that she wanted to try as an alternative to sandwiches in her lunch for school (it was a big hit). We had a lot of fun together. The family was also happy that Ginger and Pen made some brownies to eat after our nummy stir fry dinner. They were received with open arms (and mouths). (Okay, is anyone else as creeped out as I am by how Big's mouth looks? I can't quite put my finger on why, but ACK!)

2. I'm going to try to walk down to pick Big up from kindergarten more often. It's about a mile both ways (with the way home being mostly uphill), so it will be a good way to get some exercise and extra outside time while the weather is still nice. Edith loves getting out of her stroller to walk for the last quarter mile. Can't beat the company and there are fun things to see. 

3. We finished out the soccer season for the three kids who were playing. I think they're a little disappointed, but I have a little Hallelujah Chorus playing in my head over it. I mean, I love to watch my kids play, but it's always nice to have a little break (until the next thing comes along). I'll do a separate post about soccer, soon.

4. Oh, wait.... that next thing came along already. I'm super excited about it, though. Bud had his first rock climbing class on Wednesday and he loved it. I think it will be such a good fit for him. It's both an individual and a team sport (you need to learn to rely on your belayer), but without all of the jostling that comes with a lot of team sports. Plus, it will help him develop a strong core so he can hopefully stay brace-free. Perfect.

5. Ginger's soccer season may be over for the moment, but her super-dedicated coach is going to continue with twice-a-week practices. That makes me so happy for her because she loves it, and I love to see how much she is improving and gaining confidence. It does make me miss playing, but that's fodder for another post.

6. Edith turned 19 months yesterday! Another blog post for this weekend...

7. My mom and my sister and her husband and twin boybies came to support Big in his last soccer game last night. It was great to see them and Big loved the extra cheers aimed his way. 

8. This morning, rather than walking down to pick Big up from school, Edith and I picked him up in the car and drove to the park. Another good option. We had a lot of fun.

9. The rest of the day was pretty good, too. Yes, that is Big voluntarily working on writing the letter 'Gg'. It was his idea. I just couldn't get him to sit at the table because someone was eating Cheerios. That's yet another post I should write.

10. Pen got to dance at halftime of the football game tonight, Ginger is still at a late party, and Bud just walked in the door, beaming, from a concert and ice cream date with my mom. Big and Edith enjoyed having a little more attention focused on them by their dad with everyone else gone. Life is good for everyone tonight, it seems. 

And next week, when Pen finally finishes her bug project, I should be able to rid the house of the smell of decaying insects. Then life will be perfect, right?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

1. We had a soccer-free weekend. That's not the case for this coming weekend, but it was so nice to have a Saturday without any games. 

2. We managed to use the time on Saturday to get some cleaning done around the house.  With 5 kids I doubt I'll ever be caught up, but at least things are a little closer to clean. Well, were closer. Now another week has gone by.... it's like being on a hamster wheel.

3. I coached Bud's final soccer practice of the season on Monday. It actually went really well. I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement when Bud's team executed what we had worked on in practice to score a goal during the game on Tuesday. Fantastic.

4. I got the final part of my root canal finished up on Thursday. I'm hoping to have a pain-free mouth from here on out. Considering it hasn't been pain free for 4 1/2 months, I think it's about time.

5. The best part of this week, hands down, is the other thing that happened on Thursday. Because Bud's back was doing so well this Spring, his doctor gave him the Summer off from wearing his brace. On Thursday Rophone took Bud in to have his back x-rayed to see how it is doing, always hopeful for a miracle but expecting the news that we need to get him fitted for another brace. Well, we got our miracle-- no new brace is needed! In fact, Bud's spine is even slightly over-corrected to the other side. 

The doctor told us a few years ago that there was a slight chance, with how flexible Bud is and because of how early we started him with the brace, that someday we would take the brace off and Bud's spine would hold position, but even he was surprised that it actually happened. We just need to keep Bud involved in activities that will maintain his strength and take him back in for another x-ray in 6 months (as long as we don't notice a big change). If it looks good in 6 months, then we'll go to yearly appointments. Yearly. I can hardly believe it.


6. Big is on a play date right now and Edith is napping. The house is quiet. I think I'm in heaven! Considering that this (see below) is how Big feels about hanging out with me these days, I'm pretty sure he's in heaven, too. A win-win.

7. My brain is too tired to put together any more thoughts, so I'll just finish out the post with a few more favorite pictures from the week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Growling Stuffed Animal

I am one of those parents who thinks it's okay to tell my kids the occasional white lie. As long as it doesn't harm anyone and is for the greater good, I say 'Go for it!'. That's what I've been doing to Edith for the past week or so; lying to her. 

One night last week she was giving me a hard time about getting ready for bed. With the nights getting cooler, I figured it was just about time to start wearing fuzzy, footed pajamas. And so, a plan was hatched. "Hey, Edith, come help me pick out some new pajamas from your closet so we can turn you into a stuffed animal!"

Now getting Edith ready for bed is a breeze. She loves her human-to-stuffed-animal transformation. As I was getting her dressed for bed the other night, we had this conversation:

Edith (just as her jammies were zipped to the top): "Rawr!"

Me (trying to keep things from getting too crazy before bed): "Oh! No, Edith. Stuffed animals don't roar, they just give snuggles and cuddles."

Edith: "Oh. No roar?"

Me: "No. Stuffed animals are just here to give kids hugs and make them feel good."

Edith (with a big smile): "To make kids HAPPY!"

Yup. Exactly, Edith. You are an awfully cute stuffed animal and you make me happy. Thanks for the snuggles even though I'm not a kid. They really make me feel good. You're the best stuffed animal I've ever had.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favorites

I'm not sure that I know what to write this week. It's maybe even harder than last week.

1. My dad's funeral on Saturday was so many things, both good and bad. What I will say is that the love and support of family and friends who came or sent their wishes from afar means the world. Thanks.

2. I wanted to sleep and sleep on Sunday, but what I ended up doing was getting up early to go sing in church with two of my sisters. I was emotional and therefore had no breath support to stay in tune, but to have that experience with my sisters was priceless. 

3. After church on Sunday we partook of my Dad's famous "Snack" (cheeses, salami, crackers and several types of pickles) followed by a traditional JRP "treat". Who doesn't love just a little bit of something sweet after all of that salty? It was perfect.

4. Even amidst all of the tears, we were able to find laughter. My dad wouldn't have had it any other way.

5. Sunday evening we went to spend some time at the gravesite. It was a beautiful evening and it was nice to be together. Wonder if the grounds crew would give Big a job...

final photo of the bunch taken by my bro-in-law

6. I really enjoyed spending time with my family this week, especially my sisters. I think it's time for a girls' getaway. 

7. My mom and I canned peaches on Wednesday. It felt good to get some work done, and I know we'll enjoy eating them this winter.

8. I got a root canal yesterday. I'm putting this in my favorites because it should provide some relief. I really should have gotten it done a few weeks ago, but then life got in the way. Thank heavens for modern dentistry and antibiotics. 

9. I think I'm kind of enjoying the down time while I'm waiting for the kids to come out of school. Pen gets out earlier than Bud and Ginger, so sometimes I manage to pick them up by myself. It's nice to be able to hear myself think for a few minutes.

10. It's amazing how life just goes on. I'm grateful for that. Otherwise I'd spend too much time being sad. I'd most certainly go crazy. I'm already well on my way there, anyway.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Dream

I had the funniest (and weirdest!) dream last night. In it, all of my siblings were helping me look for Rophone in some big city. Apparently, I had been unable to find him and decided to enlist their help. 

I was going about my search with much distress when suddenly my sister, Opera, came running up to let me know she had found Rophone. I hurriedly followed her to where Rophone was seated outside of a nightclub with an old friend from high school (who shall remain nameless). A male friend. 

When I asked Rophone where he had been and what he was doing, Rophone informed me that he had decided to leave me and the kids in order to live a gay lifestyle with my old friend. I was shocked and sad, but was remarkably composed as I let him know that I respected his decision and gave him my blessing to do whatever would make him happy. 

As Rophone walked away, he made a (completely out of character in real life) patronizing comment to me. It was then that I flew into a rage and beat the crap out of him. As Rophone lay on the sidewalk I stood over him and yelled, "I didn't beat you up because you left me in order to lead a gay lifestyle, I beat you up because I hate being patronized!" I then stomped away, worrying about how I was going to take care of 5 kids on my own.

When I told Rophone about the dream we had a good laugh. I laughed even harder when I was in the kitchen a few minutes later and Ginger said, "I had a weird dream about Dad last night. I dreamed that he bought a ham!" Weird, indeed. 

I think that what spurred the dream is that I really do hate being patronized, and maybe I had to endure a bit of it this week. I guess I finally reached my breaking point in the dream. I feel better now. 

Just don't patronize me and you'll be okay.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Favorites?

This week has been far from stellar. Really far. My father passed away unexpectedly on Monday, so I've been grieving and in shock. But, that being said, there are still things to be grateful for. 

1. Saturday, we got to go throw bowls on the pottery wheel for my sister's Empty Bowls fundraiser that she holds every year. It's something that I love to do and it was fun to be there as a family to do it. Ginger helped my mom watch Art's twin boybies and the rest of us got to play with clay. Even my dad.

2. On Sunday my dad invited us to come over after dinner for ice cream. While I was cooking our meal, I had a feeling I should invite my folks to eat with us. I wasn't sure that they would be able to come, thinking they were probably cooking their own food already, but was happy to find out they were only planning on eating BLTs so could come over. How glad I am that we had that last meal together. It allowed us to see my dad for a little longer than if we had just had dessert, and Big even got to play basketball with his grandpa on the back patio. I will forever have the picture in my mind of my dad marveling at the ease of our adjustable-height hoop as he moved it up and down. 

3. Monday, the day my dad died, really sucked. But, I will say that a favorite is that Pen didn't find my father where he collapsed, as that easily could have happened since they had been doing yard work together. I also love this photo that Rophone took of Edith playing his drums while I was at the hospital. It made me smile.

4. All of the kids did great in their soccer games this week.

5. Edith found a new pair of hand-me-down shoes to fuel her addiction. She insisted on putting them on before she even got dressed, without socks. The shoes are way too big, but she has worn them for the past 2 days. Here is a photo of her playing with an old phone as she sits in the bathroom while I shower:

6. Rophone took Big and Edith with him to pick up some pizza yesterday. I'm so glad he has started taking pictures with his phone.

7. On the way back from Ginger's soccer game last night with Bud and a few nephews in tow, we saw a double rainbow. It is the first time in my life (I think) that I have seen a complete double rainbow. Where it starts, where it ends, and its full arc. I asked the kids if they thought maybe it was sent by their grandpa. Some discussion ensued among them over whether he had the power to do so or not or if he is "allowed" to do that. Then my 10 year old nephew, The Genealogist, said, "I don't know if he sent it or not, but I'm sure he could tell us exactly what causes it. Grandpa knows everything." It made me smile that the kids know their grandpa so well.

It was fading by the time we got home, but you can still see both arcs above my mom's house:

8. The family is all gathered together now. It's a terrible thing that brought us together, but it sure is nice to be able to support each other.

9. We have fabulous neighbors and friends who have supported and loved us this week. Definitely a favorite.