Monday, June 30, 2008
We went to the Round Up parade on Saturday morning. I forgot my camera, which made me feel like a fish out of water. Some of the floats were so creative. I loved them. McKay is a marching band junkie. He wanted to follow all of them. He looked after them until they were out of sight. Maybe he'll be in the band one day. Probably. He has a good dose of band geek in him from his mom.
Then we came back later on that afternoon. Hannah and Michael were off for the afternoon, so it was McKay, Garrett and Ella. They rode ponies (led by the high school FFA club), ate cotton candy, ate slushies and watched some kids dance. We didn't stay for a long long time, but it was enough for the kids to think they were pretty lucky! I estimate they both consumed about 1/2 cup of pure sugar each between the cotton candy and slushies. Yeah, I'm all about health food.
I knew that when I sent off my camera to get a tune up and get fixed, photo ops galore would present themselves. Still, my Lumix did a passable job. Of course, I still am sad that they are not even close to what they could have been. But we caught the moment, and that is the most important thing.
We did some shopping and cleaning. Then Darwin's mom came and watched the kids while we went to Applebees (yes, I think this is our favorite place to go out to. Good food and we always see people we know there.) It just feels nice to get out for an hour or so. Not long enough to really worry, but long enough to kind of relax.
They we stopped over at Darwin's mom's house and helped her get some emergency preparedness stuff squared away. The kids love going over to her house. They were in heaven.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day.
Friday, June 27, 2008
1. What is something mom always says to you?
Hannah: "Be nice."
Garrett: "Ummm, no! And That! And toes and rain!"
2. What makes mom happy?
Hannah: "Loving her!"
Garrett: "Moon! Hey! Moon!"
3. What makes mom sad?
Hannah: "Being mean to my brothers."
Garrett: "Ha ha! Woohoo! Balloons!"
4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Hannah: "By doing funny things"
Garrett: "Jump in the pool!"
5. What was your mom like as a child?
Hannah: "She liked to play and play Barbies."
Garrett: "Jump in the pool!"
6. How old is your mom?
Hannah: "16, actually 19...no, not 19. 16, I mean."
7. How tall is your mom?
Hannah: "Littlish big, but my dad is bigger."
Garrett: "What a hat!"
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Hannah: "Um, what is it again? Tell me! Oh take my picture!" (Eh, that works!)
Garrett: "Walking and a hat!"
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Hannah: "Clean up my room and have fun!"
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Hannah: "That she can take pictures of people."
Garrett: "No hitting!"
11. What is your mom really good at?
Hannah: "Being so great. Actually, having fun with me. Oh, Rollerskating"
Garrett: "Jump on the tree!"
12. What is your mom not very good at?
Hannah: "Um, I don't know."
Garrett: "Dog. A dog."
13. What does your mom do for her job?
Hannah: "Cleans up in her world"
14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Hannah: "Vegetables and 7-UP" (I don't really care for 7-Up...)
Garrett: "Food. A dog." (Uh, no.)
15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Hannah: "Working hard and getting me Barbies."
Garrett: "Read me the book!"
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Hannah: "A cartoon girl."
Garrett: "A drum! Oh no! Drum dropped!"
17. What do you and your mom do together?
Hannah: "Have fun together."
18. How are you and your mom the same?
Hannah: "We are pretty the same!"
19. How are you and your mom different?
Hannah: "Um, we change..."
Garrett: "In the jungle."
20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Hannah: "She tells me."
Garrett: "A baby cow!"
Well, Garrett was looking at a book (an anthology called The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury) and so, that kind of erm, influenced him. Hee hee.
I tag Jonathan, Berkley, Ian, Maija, Sabrina and Tori.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This should theoretically provide lots of interesting data on things like String Theory, etc. But there is also an itty-bitty possibility that they could open up a small black hole. Now, the scientists feel that if this happened, since it would be small, it ought to decay extremely quickly. Of course, if it DOESN'T decay quickly, well, darn it, the whole Earth, and possibly the whole solar system may be sucked into the black hole.
It's scheduled to be tested in the next month or so. (It keeps being pushed back due to accidents.) So, if you find yourself suddenly flying in the direction of Switzerland, you'll now know why.
There is usually one constant though. I don't get breakfast until about an hour later. Sometimes I just move on to lunch since it is kinda late.
This morning, while I was down folding the latest clean batch of laundry from the dryer (quick interjection--in a large family, this is a MUST. Fold straight out of the dryer or die!) and Michael came down and handed me two slices of whole wheat toast.
"Look! I made you breakfast! Eat up!"
Awwwwwwwww! Is he not the sweetest?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I still have my wonderful, trusty Panasonic, which does still have a manual mode and everything...but man, I really love my new camera. I was crying as we were walking into Costco and Garrett was lying asleep in Hannah's lap in the cart. I told Darwin, "Oh just you watch. The next two weeks will be just FULL of adorable photo ops and even if I capture them with my Lumix, I'll always wonder what COULD have been."
Monday, June 23, 2008
MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Free genealogy - Family search
Kind of interesting. People usually say Michael looks EXACTLY like Darwin. And Garrett is the one people say looks like me. I guess it just depends on the pictures.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
But don't let that fool you. Underneath the frou-frou is a tomboy with three brothers!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Ella has pretty much passed the newborn stage. She coos, she smiles, she sleeps SO well, she watches all the goings on, she is trying to roll over and generally has a lot more control over her body.
But gosh, she is still so little to me. She still fits in the size 1 diapers just fine. She is sporting a 0-3 month outfit there. She is just a peanut compared to my usual chunky kiddos. Both are cute and both have their pros and cons. But it is kind of nice to get through whole boxes of diapers before the baby is too big. It is nice to wear the 0-3 month clothes long enough to feel like they were worth buying. And it is nice to have the baby small enough that the one arm cradle carry works while chasing other kids. That one has been the best.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Oh, you want to know what it IS? Chase. McKay Chase. Yep.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Anyway, the other day, a neighbor boy came in with the kids when they got a drink. (It has been so hot all of the sudden.) While we poured drinks, he went off to find McKay. I heard this exhange.
Neighbor boy: Hi McKay!
McKay (in a scandalized voice): Don't call me McKay! I'm a lady!
I think I have discovered it was from the Backyardigans Super Secret Super Spy video. Ha ha ha.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
You Are Pocahantas!
Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.
Which Disney Princess Are You?
Friday, June 13, 2008
Woohoo! Summer's back on!
I was counting up yesterday and she has about 7 very very regular visitors. A few that are less common, but still stop by.
She usually sleeps like a rock each night. She is just so busy!
By the way, look at that poor grass! We had turned on the sprinklers earlier in the year, and then we ended up turning them back off for over a month. It is only getting to where we have to return them back on. Tonight. I promise to stop neglecting my grass tonight. Good thing Hannah and her little friend wanted to run in the sprinkler.
Darwin and I wonder what Barbie's fab tips are? Perhaps she reccomends contrasting the color of your snood with the rest of your bunny suit, rather than simply matching them? Intriquing.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hmm, I am updating this at 3:30 am. Ugh. Don't eat pierogies that late. You'll be up all night. Word to the wise, eh?
On the other hand, the others are all sleeping soundly. I, however, am seriously mulling over how to keep McKay from further escapes. Maybe that is what is keeping me up all night. There has to be a way to keep him safe and for him to be more appropriate. He spent yesterday going into at least 3, possibly 4 houses. One ended fairly badly. One was pretty embarassing to me. (He locked himself in the master bedroom! Oh, that is embarassing.) One, he might have awakened a night-working father. (I don't think he did, but if this continues, it could easily, and might have already.) And he has about 7 houses, with a very occational 8th, that he goes into. His boundries are rapidly expanding. It used to just be 2.
On the plus side, I did figure out how he is getting over the fence. So, riddle with me how to stop it. I thought he was just muscling over the fence once we got rid of all the climbing aids. Nope. There is a telephone wire that is stapled around the bottom of the house. He is stepping on THAT to help hoist himself high enough to get over the fence. So I tried discussing with him yesterday evening the potential ramifications of using the wire to step over ("your computer will break, the phone will break") and he didn't quite get it. So, somehow I will have to block access to the wire...but how?
One very interesting thing to note. If McKay thinks about what he is saying (because sometimes he is zoned out and just agrees to anything), he cannot lie. When I was grilling him, even under the threat of no cookies, if he was going to break the rule and run away again, he would NOT promise he would not run away again. He was totally evasive! Like, I was thinking, this kid could be a lawyer! So, in 20 years, if he is some big successful lawyer, we can all look back on this post and get a good chuckle. But, but for the moment, I think he means he can't promise he won't escape again. Oddly, I am getting the feeling he is driven--internally-compelled to escape if he has the chance. Even against what he wants to do. I don't know how to explain it, but almost like he can't stop himself.
And finally, a hats off to the cat, who I have realized in the last few days is sitting outside of whatever house McKay is in. What a good kitty. He deserves kitty sainthood.
What a summer! I think this will be one I'm going to remember for a long time.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
In fact, I now have to hide the mustard. Last night McKay found it and started filling a pie tin. When I questioned him, he told me he was cooking a pie. Mmmm. Mustard pie! He smelled like a hot dog too, since he'd gotten some in his hair. The best part of it all was when he happily exclaimed, "I'm a hot dog man!"
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Besides, their faces lost all the interesting shadows, another reason that flash was not working for us.
After despairing over the state of McKay's pictorial memories, I started looking into how to take natural light pictures. Yeah, I totally admit I am an obsessive personality ;) I started looking into ISO and then into aperture (a slower shutter obviously would NEVER work for photographing McKay! Ha!) I even eventually got an SLR mainly to get a portrait lens that could open to f/1.8 for more versatility for indoor photography in low light. Yeah, remember that obsessive comment? Apply it here too. It is all still a work in progress, but I am so happy to have some pictures that show McKay in his natural element, rather than with his face all distorted from flinching away from the light.
It has opened up a really interesting area to study. Photography is full of things to learn. Darwin can even get into studying it. Lots of things he can use his math and science brain on. It is enjoyable to have something we can both learn about together. (Darwin is less about taking the actual pictures, but understanding WHY it works like it does.) I am just about trying to make sure the pictures that record our family memories accurately reflect what happened and look decent.
Hey, if anyone reading this (ya know, all my 3 readers...) has any tips for low-light photography that work for them, let me know! I am finding I would rather take a slightly underexposed non-flash picture and alter the levels in photoshop than taking a flash picture anymore. Eventually, I might get an accessory flash and try bouncing flash off of the walls or ceiling and see how McKay does with that. I mean, Christmas morning is generally too dark to do without flash. So, I don't think I can go through life without flash entirely. But at this point, I am probably down to using it maybe 4% of the time. I think McKay likes getting his picture taken better.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Only a few notches below the amazing showerhead of awesomeness is the automatic shower cleaner. Ahhh. It never complains when I tell it to clean. I do have to touch up and do a nice through cleaning every couple months, but otherwise, it keeps my shower just gleaming. It also really reduces the hardwater spots and soap scum, so the deep cleaning sessions are super duper easy.
So, let's review. Clean kids. Clean shower. All easy. Happy mommy.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Ella is a TALKER! She just coos up a storm. All day. I don't remember the other kids having quite so much to say. She also has everyone encouraging her and cooing back. That might be part of it.
And, oh my goodness, she found her thumb. Oh my. Really, none of the others ever cared about thumbs as infants, but Ella is in love. I need to keep those fingernails trim, because she has scratched herself a couple times.
Thumbs, a willing audience to pontificate to...what more can a girl want?
Of course, he'll have his party this weekend, but still today is THE day! He wants a National Treasure birthday party. So I need to finish making the clues today! Yikes. I also need to get the bathrooms "guest clean."
Michael is such a sweet kid. While he does like to indulge in a little sibling teasing at times, he is really such a good brother. He still plays with all his little sisters and brothers. His teacher loved him so much, because he was such a hard worker and he included everyone. He's a great example.
Please excuse the fact it is an old picture, but my laptop is in the shop today and the kids are upstairs on the desktop with more of my pictures on it, so I had to use the downstairs computer which only has a couple pictures. But darn it, he is a cute kid! (Yeah yeah, I am biased, but STILL! He is cute. Come on, admit it!)
Happy Birthday Michael!