Sunday, August 31, 2008

On the subject of hair

I have my first white hairs.

I felt so cool at 30 having no white hair. But then this summer hit.

This summer was literally stressful enough that I now have quite a few white hairs. In fact enough of them that I am thinking I might need to go get some highlights. I've done that before, but just for fun, just to look swankier. This time it would be to hide some of these short little white hairs sticking up around my head. My own little white halo.

However, I am actually kind of excited that my hair is going white. I always thought white was awfully dignified. So one day, I get to be a white-haired lady.

Rock on.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I gave the boys haircuts today.

This is not my favorite day of the month. In fact, I usually notice they need a haircut and then put off the cutting for another week or two, psyching myself up to do the actual cutting.

Today was the moment of truth. It could not be put off any longer.

McKay did ok. We sang, "Going on a Bear Hunt" for the whole time. He fussed and wiggled a little, then stopped and was still.

Michael was not pleased. The whole time. But his hair is nice and short now.

Garrett, however, didn't need a haircut. He'd hopped up on the stool last week when I did Darwin's. But he hopped up for a trim this week too. So, he is VERY tidy now.

The really really great thing though is that the boys are tidy and have short-hair for another month.

Friday, August 29, 2008

So, I am a *little* more adventurous than the last post...

I have done more of these than the food one.

I grabbed this off Kim's blog (since she was nice enough to do the food one for me!) and I thought I would see how many of these I have done. And then, I will not do any more lists for a long time. But they have been interesting for me to do. Made me remember a lot of things.

The things I have done are in bold.

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper (I even italicized this, since I have been changing them for over 9 years straight. Lots of times with 2 and for a short time with 3 in diapers...)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (Does Paris, Idaho count?)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (On a lake...that was NOT a fun experience.)
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone (not a physical fight...)
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (this works well, since so many of my favorite childhood toys are en vogue again.)
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (driven along it...)
74. Helped an animal give birth (I watched my gerbils give birth lots as a kid...)
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about (At least gotten them to stop and think and consider there is more than one way to look at the issue.)
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions (Accidently...yes.)
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name (After I got married, no witness protection-type stuff...yet)
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands (Again, accidently...)
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad (and the Odyssey!)
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant (Back when I was a kid, you could ride the elephants at the zoo.)
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place (Isn't Lehi historic? How about Provo?)
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise (jokingly from my husband, in regards to being a stay-at-home-mom)
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away (Considered it from time to time)
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem (doesn't mean it was a good one!)
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers (They were in fashion when I was in kindergarten)
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics (I didn't see any events, but did spend time downtown when they Olympics were here.)
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle Yes, here
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a camp fire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How adventerous of an eater are you?

This was interesting. On my friend's blog (in my links, A Life Less Sweet) she posted a list she got from the blog Very Good Taste. It's a list of 100 varied foods he felt every good omnivore ought to try.

Copy this list into your blog, including these instructions.

Bold all items you've eaten.

Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (Well, I'd tried lots of curries, many without I GUESS is it similar.)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (close to a stikeout...)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes That whole alcohol thing...
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (Never wild, but from my own garden, yes.)
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a big fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal --probably not, but I won't entirely rule it out.
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu Ah, no.
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong That whole tea thing...
80. Bellini Lots of alcohol on this list
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare...close to a strikeout...
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab..close to strikeout...
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor...again CLOSE to strikeout...
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

So, we learn that I am not very adventurous of an eater. And that I don't like fish. And that coffee, tea and alcohol will also make a lot of strikeouts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh WAIT! One MORE McKay funny...

Seriously, does it get any funnier than this?

Darwin was listening to the Democratic Convention and Hillary was speaking. She was pounding the pulpit on party unity and NO Republicans and NO McCain...

To which McKay replied, in indignation, "Yes McKay!"

Oh and MORE camera woes

I'm still having issues with my camera's auto-focus. I would line up the AF dots at the corners of my kids' eyes and bam...perfectly focused um, ears? It was getting so distractingly frusterating. Lovely sharp hairlines, ears, cheeks, but never sharp eyes.

In researching a little, it looks like there are some Canon XTs out there with this as a known issue. (Not ALL of them have this issue, but it does seem to be an issue with some.) So, I have sent in my lenses and the body and they'll try to calibrate them. If this doesn't work, I am going to ask for a different camera body. It just should not be this hard to get decently-focused pictures. In fact, at Hannah's birthday party, my friend grabbed my camera and played Mamarazzi while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off. She had it on P mode, and literally NO pictures she took were useable. They were just blurry messes. (And she did depress the shutter halfway to focus, etc.)

Having borrowed a friend's XSi (which has basically the same focal system) and having seen how easy it was to focus and get crisp pictures, I am firmly of the opinion my particular camera body is just a dud. But on the plus side, I am getting really good at manually focusing everything. Still, that's just not feasible when life moves at the speed of a toddler.

So...another 3 weeks of no SLR. Back to ol' trusty, my Panasonic.

An excerpt from an email from McKay's teacher yesterday

Reason #9786 why life is just more fun (and funny!) with McKay in it...

"PS: I HAVE to tell you about the funny things Mckay and Tyler said this afternoon during our Mystery Motivator, (Today it was Root Beer Floats, compliments of Mr. Becker*!)

Mckay: "Yum- Happy days are here again!"
Tyler: "This is the LIFE!"
Mckay: "This is the best mystery motivator and class ever."
Tyler: "Yup, and this is still the life!"

I'm bustin' up right now just typing it! Your kids are a BLAST!"

*the principal

Monday, August 25, 2008


McKay has been telling people he wants to "Go up to the clouds."

So I asked him today, "What's up in the clouds?"

"Oh!" says McKay, "The yummiest food imaginable, all the Veggie Tales movies, the best toys and Teletubby stories!"

Well, no wonder he wants to go up to the clouds.

Those are fun clouds!

Everyone's back to school now!

Well, first off, I would like to point out that I did NOT end up on the evening news even ONCE this summer. So, since I accomplished my summer goal, I'd like to pat myself on the back a bit.

Ouch! Maybe I was patting too hard for such a modest goal? Of course, it didn't FEEL like a modest goal earlier in the summer with all the running and such.

Michael and McKay went back on Monday of last week. Both kids seemed like they've enjoyed themselves. McKay still is excited to see Wall-E in his classroom (yay for Harris!) and Michael has always just enjoyed school a lot. It is a very social experience for him. He's able to play with a lot of kids who really understand him. He looks forward to schools starting at the end of any break.

Hannah started Kindergarten today. It was so bittersweet. She is such a great helper and Garrett loves to play with her and bug the heck out of her. But she was beyond ready to hit the Kindergarten scene. Michael was so excited for her too. He even walked her to her class. Ok, let's have a collective "Awwwwwww" for the big brother.

Hannah and Michael hamming it up this morning as they ate waffles and watched Curious George while waiting for the bus.Hannah smiling outside as we waited for the bus.

Michael and Hannah scamper onto the bus.
But where is McKay through all of this? Ooooh! Our sweet across-the-street neighbors were cleaning out their house and their daughter brought over the two snowglobes that McKay LOVES. He was pretty much in heaven ALL morning.

Sooo, he was a little behind in getting on the bus. Had to pack those snowglobes, ya know?

Friday, August 22, 2008

She's got her daddy's brain

We had Hannah's Kindergarten assessment today. I knew she'd do well with the letters and sounds and phonics. We've worked hard on those.

In fact, she even took a phonics/reading enrichment class this summer. She loved it. She is good at writing her name and knows her phone number and her birthday. She can count quite well. (She counted up to 50, but did 30s for both the 30s and 40s...)

But I have been saying to Darwin this summer that we need to work with her on simple addition and subtraction. But we just had not. And yet, her teacher quizzed her on both--and she answered both correctly. She used some manipulatives and figured it out all by herself. Oh! And they were story problems and she knew what to do.

Color me impressed.

She has her dad's math brain, aparantly. Yay for that.


So, the cat has been resting for a couple of days and his leg has been totally immobilized. I unwrapped it today to check it and wash the bandages and he seems to be able to bear weight on it with just a tiny limp now.

So I am assuming it was not broken, just sprained. YAY! If it was broken, due to his age, we probably would have had to take the cat to the vet for surgery to set it with pins. So, I am pretty happy we dodged that. Both pain-wise and money-wise.

So now to keep him resting for the next week or so. I think I'll take the hard splint off and just wrap it with bandages for the next couple days. I wouldn't want him to re-injure it.

Yay! Saint kitty is ok!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I need a nap.

Ella is learning to crawl and she is in that mode of "I-must-crawl-all-day-and-night." So, she cries in her crib when she gets herself trapped in a corner. She cries as she gets on her hands and knees and rocks because she is SO TIRED. But she just is driven. She was up all night perfecting her skills. She would doze off every so often, but wake up, flip over and start the crawling practice once again.

Then there is the poor kitty with his little splint. He can't get up and down the stairs. He can't go out to go potty. He is kind of stuck and needs me. He whined a lot last night. Poor kitty. He is not happy. But at least he doesn't seem to be in huge pain. We'll see what happens.

I think I need a nap. I was up all night last night between these two. (He is wearing the sock to keep his splint dry and clean.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our poor kitty

Our poor kitty has had a rough summer.

First off he is long-haired and dark-colored. Second, his hair doesn't shed, it tangles and makes matts. So he has to keep getting matts cut out. He looks dreadful by this late in the summer. He'll be fine and lovely by October, but for now, he looks pitiful.

Then there is another kitty who keeps coming into our garage and thinks it will fight McGonagall for the turf. Grrr. He got a scratch two weeks ago that got infected, so I had to clean and disinfect and medicate it each day, a couple of times a day. It's doing ok now.

And today? It looks like his foot might be broken. *sigh* I just splinted it and wrapped it. He's had a broken foot before. Right before we officially adopted him, he somehow broke his foot and we spent a lot getting it fixed, so we figured he was ours after that. At least I have the spint and the knowledge of how to wrap it. If it is not healing in a week, I'll take him in for a check. I am still hoping it is just a sprain and that with it immobilized and him resting inside (and all the food inside away from the mean cat...) he will heal quickly.

He's so much older though. I hope it is not broken, because if it is broken, I am worried it won't heal well at all. It's probably kind of silly, but prayers for our sweet kitty would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


McKay was just finishing up his with his speech tutor and he went running downstairs. I let the tutor out and came walking downstairs and I asked him, in passing, "McKay, how do you feel?"

McKay's immediate response?


Monday, August 18, 2008

The party of the century...

Or so it felt.

It was so much fun. By the time all was said and done, there were 29 different kids who were at the house that day. Twenty six who came to the party and 3 who stopped by afterwards. We were pretty busy!

But all the girls got their nails painted, complete with little gems on the toes and embellishments with the paint.

Then we did a pinata and cake and ice cream and presents. I thought I was being generous allowing 2 hours for all the festivities, but no. We were rushing like mad people trying to fit everything in at the end.
The first group of girls washing their feet in the bubbly wading pool.
The basket of nail polish, towels, clippers, nail files, cotton balls, nail polish remover, gems, etc.
Hannah waiting for her polish.
One of the girls getting her toes done.
Hannah's finished nails
Hannah surveying some of the cupcakes.
Hannah's cousin Andrea after enjoying some cupcakes.
Hannah hugs Alanna after opening her present.

Saturday, August 16, 2008



Hannah is FIVE???

When did this happen? Why didn't someone tell me it would happen this FAST? I think the years start going by exponentially faster the more kids one has.

I knew her birthday was coming. I was preparing. I am ready. The party is in a few hours. But it hit me. She is FIVE! Like...not a baby anymore. Come to think on it, she hasn't been a baby for quite awhile. But in my MIND, I can still remember bringing her home from the hospital as a little newborn. I can still remember the thrill when she started talking--and she has not stopped yet.

Here's to five years full of smiling, and loving, and friends, and talking, and princesses, and nail polish, and giggling, and pink Power Rangers, and helping, and learning, and accepting, and Barbie, and bracelets, and all of the wonderful things that having this wonderful, friendly, open, loving girl in our family means.

We are really blessed aren't we?

But seriously...FIVE?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back-to-School Night

Well, this is it. We are down to the wire.

Back-to-School Night was tonight. Hannah met her new Kindergarten teacher. I think Hannah is totally excited to go to school and was thrilled to see her new classroom. She knows her teacher and we're working on walking to class by herself. She still has a week before she starts, but she's getting geared up. In fact, I think we'll need to discuss how to stay calm during school, because she is so excited.

Michael knows his teacher, even though she is new to him, and he is excited to be in her class. He wanted to bring her a present (he brought her some paper cups ;) ) and he knows the classroom since it was his last year.

McKay was not sure about going back to class yet, but once he saw his teacher's AWESOME classroom theme...he was won over. It is a Disney/Pixar theme. McKay can't wait to go to class with Wall-E and Buzz. Woohoo, we have a winner! It is great. I think by the time Monday is here, McKay will be fairly begging to go back to see his classroom.

Update: Yup, McKay is hooked. Last night, as McKay was lying in bed he said, "Can I go back to school to see Wall-E?"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The toughest job

My friend Heidi is such a devoted, informed, involved mama. She totally hit the ground running when she started this parenting gig, and I have been nothing but impressed.

But what sets Heidi apart is she is a foster mom.

She has had her adorable Bamm Bamm (her nickname for her foster son) for about a year. He came to her a little before he was one year of age. She has chronicled him endlessly, been devoted to him absolutely, and loved him fiercely. I have followed her journey through her emails and her blog (I grew up with Heidi, she was one of my best friends in jr. high and high school) and seen the amazing job she's been doing all year.

She loved him as completely as any mother ever loved her son. And she did this knowing she was going to have to step out of his life at some point.

That point came this weekend and I cannot say that I have ever known someone I am more proud to know. She has so selflessly given to this little boy so much love and stability. Here is her post about his goodbye. It just had me in tears, and yet, it gave me such a warm feeling to know that there are people like Heidi out there. So completely genuine in wanting to make a real difference in the world, and then selflessly doing something about it.

Foster parenting is not for everyone, but Heidi is an example of the best of the best. It reminds me of the story of the man walking along the beach each morning, throwing the starfish that had washed up during the night back into the ocean, saving their lives. Another man approached him and said, "Why are you doing this? There are thousands and thousands of starfish that wash up on the beach and die. You can't save them all. You can't make a difference." And the man reached down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean and turned to the questioning man and said, "It made a difference to that one."

Anyway, I just wanted to salute Heidi and the difference she is making.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Our lake trip

We haven't really gone anywhere this summer. There's been a myriad of reasons for that--McKay running so much, Darwin's work schedule, a new baby--but the end result is we've been major homebodies this summer. It's been nice in a lot of ways, but we needed a bit of time to feel like we were on vacation.

So this Saturday we just spent the afternoon at Deer Creek Resevoir. We kept it really simple. A few sandwiches and crackers and drinks and stuff for swimming was all we brought, since we needed to carry it all down from the car to the beach along with all five littles.

The kids were in heaven. They've been asking for the beach all summer. Obviously landlocked Utah doesn't have ocean, but the lake worked for them. They liked the swimming and the sand and all that being near the water entailed.

It was a lovely day and the water was refreshing. The resevior is often quite chilly, but it was tolerable on Saturday. A bit on the cool side, but easy enough to get used to. There was enough cloud cover that the day was not burning hot, and it didn't rain until later in the evening.
Ella slept under her carseat shade and an umbrella for the bulk of the time.

Hannah was a big fan of digging, building "castles" and just feeling the mud. She swam a little, but the seaweed kind of freaked her out.

Garrett liked running in the shallow water and along the beach and digging in the sand. He got his feet pretty dirty. He is usually very tidy, but he didn't seem to mind much, as long as it was just his feet.

Michael was pretty much in and out of the water all day. He didn't care much for getting sandy. He got home and crashed after all of the swimming all day.

McKay just loved laying in the sand. It looks like a rough life, doesn't it? He even got Garrett to try, but Garrett was not as thrilled about laying the dirt and getting it in his hair and all over.

Of course, all this getting covered in sand meant McKay had to go wash off often. He looks pretty broken up about that, doesn't he?

This is the bay we swam in. It was still very cool water. But a little warmer than the deeper parts of the lake, since it was so shallow. Picturesque, eh?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Woody has anger management issues

Garrett is sitting by me, playing with Buzz and Woody.

He made Buzz knock off Woody's hat. And then Woody started to have a fit. So, Buzz said (in Garrett's sweet two-year-old voice), "Woody, let go of your anger."

That is good stuff. Hee hee!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

An apple a day...

I never know quite when the fruit man will come. But once a year in August, there is a guy who comes around selling boxes of apples, oranges and grapefruit.

I am not usually one to get things from door-to-door people. But the first year--about 5 years ago--I was lured by the low prices for so much fruit.

Now? I just love the taste of the fruit! By this time of year, we are usually at the dregs of last year's apple crop in the stores. They are mealy and bland and mushy and wax-covered. It is all sad.

And in swoops the fruit guy with his fresh little Fugis! They are crisp, sweet/tart, and fresh. No wax. Plus, they are the greatest size for kids. Not too big at all. Hannah can finish one off in one sitting and there is not a ton left.

I usually dislike door-to-door people. I don't like strangers coming to my door, pressuring me to buy stuff. In fact, I have toyed with a No Soliciting sign. But I am thinking if I ever do one, I will need to ammend it, "No Soliciting...unless you're the apple guy."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ella's dexterity and my 100th post

Well, I'm really impressed. She's barely 5 months old and Ella's new thing is to cross her fingers--well, when she's not sucking them. It just seems like such an impressively dexterious thing to do.

I kind of hope this finger crossing is not an omen of things to come though...

And in other news, this is my 100th post.

I think I might need to get out more.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Baby Pilates

Ella takes the term "Baby Gym" very very seriously.

What a workout!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

McKay and Ella's bond

So, Ella and McKay...they are awesome together. I can't wait to see how this sibling relationship develops over the years. She seems pretty mellow and cheery and easy-going. McKay is...McKay. He can be the most kick-back kid ever, or about as high-strung as they come. And that can vacillate over about 2 minutes.

But one thing is completely constant. They are completely taken with each other.

Like I mentioned below, McKay just is crazy about Ella. I am a total total slacker. We have this baby swing. I don't use it a lot. Don't ask me why. It's some kind of personal thing I have. But it is a nice thing when Ella just wants to watch the kids play or I need to take a shower. But see, the swing eats batteries. Devours them. So using alkaline batteries would be a little like throwing money down the drain. Using rechargeable nickle-metal hydride batteries (which lose their charge whether you use them or don't) is not a ton better. I don't lose the money, but they are never fully charged. So, it usually turns into me manually pushing the baby every few minutes.

But McKay has decided this is his job. He comes over quietly and gives her the best pushes. Not too hard, but totally not too slow. He has this great little crooked smile all the while too. And Ella? She squirms with delight as he approaches. Her grins are HUGE. Her first real laughs were for McKay and his approach. Her only real belly laughs are for him. He just delights her.

McKay likes to hold her too. This might not seem like a lot, but McKay is quite hesitant to touch very many people. He's fine to stand off and observe. He doesn't like to hold dogs and cats like all the kids his age do. He doesn't seem to really care about other people's little babies. But Ella...he will ask specifically to hold her. (I need to get some pictures, but it is always a quick and unexpected thing, and so the moment is over quickly.)

But this bond started even before Ella was born.

When I was pregnant and my belly was really starting to show and others could feel Ella's movements from the outside, McKay's interest was piqued. He would crawl into my bed in the wee morning hours. (Probably around 2 am, or so.) He would snuggle up next to me and put his feet on my belly and gently push. This would awaken Ella, who would then push back. This would delight McKay and he would push again, and on and on. This was absolutely, intoxicatingly sweet for me as a mom. It was also completely exhausting, as it happened every night. But the sweet was really the overwhelming thing for me.

It is just amazing to me, watching this delicate, deep, profound sibling relationship develop.

Oh my, it's August...

School is coming. Hannah has her letter for Kindergarten. We know her teacher. (Fotheringham, for those who are in the know around here. I am hearing good things about her...any personal opinions? Mary? Nancy? Others?)

I am trying to keep my slight panic at bay. I know I got panicky with all the kids as they have gone into Kindergarten. But so far, I have only had kids going into Kindergarten with an IEP. I've already met the teachers and their team well before school started. (Even before the prior year ended.) I'd had plenty of time to discuss with their preschool teacher, who I trust very very much.

This is a totally new experience.

Hannah is also SO young. I keep questioning my judgement on sending her. She turns 5 just 2 days before the official start of school. (Kindergarten starts a week later. So she'll be five for a whole NINE days before she REALLY starts school.) She seems so young. Surely she will be one of the very youngest of her year. And yet, she is SO social and so mature. Her academics are fairly strong. But she has a propensity to be a chatter and doesn't automatically accept authority-figures. I don't know! I just want this to be a really really good experience for her.

Still, I think this is the right choice. I mean, the worst that can happen is we decide to do a second year of Kindergarten. Half of Hannah's little friends are in this year and half will be in the next year. It's only half-day, so it is a little like glorified preschool. So, we can watch tentatively and see how it goes. I imagine it will be a smashing success...but then she is SO young. I really want to start school on the right foot.

Geesh, I think I always have more trepidation about school starting than my kids do each year.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another Michael and Hannah brag

So Michael decided today that he REALLY wanted to go to McDonald's tonight. I mean, afterall, they have SpyGear in their Happy Meals! Who doesn't want SpyGear? So he enlisted Hannah in the plan. (They ALSO have Polly Pockets. So, yeah, Hannah was on board with that.)

Michael started with his usual tactic of incessant asking. I told him I didn't know and that we had to wait for dad to come home. He kept asking and asking and I told him the asking was not helping his cause. In fact, it was getting on my frayed nerves. I asked him what he thought would help convince me and dad to let him go.

Well, he went up and cleaned his room and then helped Hannah clean hers. And then they cleaned the playroom. Hannah even used the hose on the vacuum to clean up some stray popcorn kernals from their snacks today. When Darwin got home, they showed off their hard work and then asked, very nicely.

Darwin was very very impressed and they are at McDonald's as we speak. (I am home with 2 sleeping babies.) I was very impressed with Michael's ability to work that one out and to come up with something that would further his cause. I am ALSO very impressed with how clean those rooms are.

Yay for SpyGear.


I am so glad Hannah has a sister. It is so sweet how she looks forward to Ella doing all the things she does. She can't wait to see Ella in clothes she once wore or playing with her baby toys. They are pretty cute. There is just something special in life about having a sister. I am glad Hannah will have this chance, in addition to having so many wonderful brothers.

Ella and the others are also very sweet.

McKay loves her. They have a sweet bond. She just belly laughs when she sees him and he gets his little sideways, crooked smile for her. I love it.

Garrett loves to kiss and cuddle her and tell her all about what he is learning about life.

Michael LOVES to carry Ella around. He is making sure she is well-versed in Power Rangers and Pucca. It is pretty cute. He is an old pro at being a good brother though. He's always been sweet with each of the kids as they have been born. I've honestly never had to deal with sibling rivalry, which is nice.