Monday, February 29, 2016

Five in One Blow!

Edith is 5! She has been waiting for this for AGES. And I mean ages. I think she was pretty much born ready to be five and go to kindergarten. She can hardly wait. I know that she'll be so much happier going to school every day instead of just a few days a week, so I know that the rest of us will be happier, too. Sometimes it's really hard to be constrained by a number. Being 4 was hard at times. I hope that being 5 will be awesome!

We did a little photo shoot to document turning 5. I love photo shoots with Edith. I really adore this one:

I adore all of them, to tell you the truth. Edith has such range of expression! It's hilarious.

This one makes me think of Marlon Brando in The Godfather. Right?


This one? Yeah, NOT The Godfather. :)


So, so funny. I love her personality.

We let Edith open her gifts in the afternoon. It's tough to wait all day when your birthday is on a Saturday. Plus, the lighting is better for pictures. :)

Edith's most excited reaction was when she opened the 1st grade workbook. So cute. She's been mourning for a few months since she finished her Kindergarten workbook. She's so happy to have the new one, and it will be even better now that she can read the instructions on her own.

I love that Edith took a break in the middle of present opening to read the book her grandma gave her. No rush to see what was coming next.

She was super thrilled to get a truck and trailers like Big's so they can play together. 

Later on, after dinner, it was time to make it all official by blowing out the candles. I kind of wish we'd done that earlier, too, for the better lighting. But, that would have seemed too weird. She's still adorable.

Happy, Happy 5th Birthday, Edith!!! We're overjoyed that you decided to join our family! We love you so much.

The In-between

We have bookend birthdays in the month of February, but there are usually a few things that happen in between the celebrations that I should probably mention. Life can't always be about parties and cake. Too bad, I know.

Some pretty darn exciting things happened this February, actually, so it's good I didn't just skip mentioning them. February has been a ton of fun! The Sunday after Ginger's birthday, we received a call at about 1 pm from a local news station about doing a story on the kids' game. What?? Sure!! We had a van pulling up out front by about 3 pm. That was quick! I didn't even try to tell the kids to play it cool and not look too eager-- this is something to act excited about!


The cameraman asked us all questions and took some footage of the kids doing different things for an hour and a half or so. The kids were on the 9:00 news that night! Well, all except Ginger, that is. At least they showed her hands holding my phone as she played the game. Sorry, Ginger. Still super fun, though.

The next day, I took Ginger to go get her permit. 


On the Thursday of that week, Edith and I went to the elementary school to watch Bud compete in the school spelling bee. It was super exciting, and Bud placed 3rd!! Woohoo!

Once they abandoned the list, which most of the participants had clearly studied well, the kids started dropping like flies. Bud got out on the word "nonplus." I was in my seat chanting in my head "don't add a second 's' to the end" over and over again, but I don't seem to be telepathic. Bud had only seen the word "nonplussed" so he hesitated and then added the second 's'. Totally cool, though, and understandable. And, of course, it was the only word he didn't know in the round. If he'd made it through, it could have just as easily been him in 1st place. But, that's the way spelling bees go. I just love to watch him participating.

On President's Day, we traveled up to the big city to be on another news program. Such a fun adventure! We didn't realize that it was going to be live until we got there, so the kids got a little nervous, but they did so great! The first news story was short (less than a minute), but this one was much longer and was done like a talk show! Before the break, the host was talking about Kanye's new app, after the break he was talking with the kids. Ha! So much fun for the kids to be a part of it. 

I have been taking Ginger driving a bunch and, thankfully, she's really good! It's actually not very stressful and we enjoy ourselves. As long as we make sure we're both well fed before we go out, I think it will stay that way.

Big finished out both of his basketball seasons on Edith's birthday. We loved it, but it will be kind of nice to have a little break before soccer starts up. It really is fun to watch the kid play.

February has been such a great month! And, of course, it's not over-- we still have Edith's birthday to close it out! The month of February is usually pretty dreary and dull between the birthdays, but not this year! What a blast!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's All About Ginger!

It's really kind of hard to believe, but Ginger is 15! It really doesn't seem like it's been long enough since we celebrated that birthday for Pen, but I guess it has. Yikes! We kept things low-key and simple, just celebrating as a family. It was really nice.

Ginger wanted a cake with lots of rainbow sprinkles, so this is what she got. I wasn't paying attention when I assembled it so it ended up pretty lopsided, and the cake was too moist to pick up and roll the sides in sprinkles, but I think Ginger was pretty happy with how it turned out. Sufficient sprinkles, it seems. Plus, she told me she could eat a whole bowl of the new frosting I tried out. So, I'll call it a success!

Just a few simple gifts, but that's always best. I love her smile as she opens her gifts. Her personality really shows. 

Her favorite gift was in this box: an enlarged print from a very good photographer-traveler friend of mine that Ginger follows on Instagram. She's had her eye on this print of his for a while, so even though she knew what she was getting she was super excited about it. 

The whole turning-a-year-older thing isn't official until the candles are blown out. I was so happy the cake hadn't slid. Ginger was so happy to see the sprinkles. 

Yay! Ginger is 15!! She is such a delight to have around and I'm so glad she's a member of our family. Happy Birthday, Ginger! We love you!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Back on the Hamster Wheel

It was a little tough to get back to the reality and redundancy of regular life after the reunion, but thankfully there are always a few things that happen to spice things up. Sometimes that something is a fart. Edith and I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot as we were waiting in the car for Ginger while she was at the orthodontist. 

I had just finished telling Edith she's beautiful when, "Tooooooot!" she farted like a little trumpet! It was hilarious! After the initial shock, we laughed and laughed. 

And then we laughed and laughed some more. It really was so funny.

I absolutely adore this last shot of her. She's so carefree and relaxed as she's slumped against the door, laughing, and I can see a glimpse of the older person she's going to become. Edith is fabulous. I can't wait to keep getting to know her as she gets older.

Edith set up the checkers one day. Ummm...that messes with my head a little. I think I'll forfeit. Yikes!

Basketball games started back up right after the break, too. Big is loving playing on two teams. They're playing up a grade in their club league, so there is often a big height disadvantage, but it doesn't stop Big from going for it anyway. I love that.

They get pretty creamed every time, so it's good Big has the city league games to excel in. He's having a lot of fun and I can see his skills really improving. 

Edith keeps improving in her reading skills. I love having her read to me in her little voice. 

Edith was super happy about this outfit that she assembled one day, so she asked me to take a picture of it. So cute.

She has a cousin that just naturally poses sassily for pictures, so I asked Edith if she wanted to do a pose, just to see what she'd do. Yeah, this. Ha!

I then suggested maybe we should take another with her just standing there. 

Such a cutie pie. And, she's right, the outfit is adorable. When I showed Edith the pictures I snapped she said, "Oh my gosh, Mom! You have to post the one where I'm posing on Instagram! I look like I'm going to poop!" Then she cracked up at herself. I love that kid.

Later that day, Davis and Merit came into the room and Davis announced, "Merit has been calling me the funniest nickname and she says she got it from you."
Me: "Oh, really? What's the nickname?"
Davis: "Old Lady."
Me: "How did you get that from me, Merit? Have you heard me call someone that when I'm driving or something?" 
Merit: "No, I just looked at you and it came to me."
Me: "Oh." 
That girl is seriously way too quick witted for a 4 year old. 

We've gotten plenty of snow over the past few weeks, which I'm super happy about. Anything to cover up the brown this time of year. Plus, we finally got good snow people snow! I was excited that I could keep my promise to Edith that we would build a snow person together, and Big decided to join in the fun, too. I love how they turned out.

Edith has really been into serving up food and drink from her "café" lately. It's all super tasty, and the "vegetarian coffee made from horse" was much better than I expected. Just the other day she served me more coffee and as I pretended to sip it she said, "It has a touch of lemon...and lots of meat!" I think she may be trying to start a trend.

The month of January was definitely all about getting back to normal, and it's shown me that our normal is really pretty great.