Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why the trampoline is already worth every penny...

Because Sis's hair stands straight up the minute she steps on it and I never get tired of laughing at it. The boys invite her to join them in jumping just to see it do that.

Because they are nicer to each other when they play on it than in any other activity.

Because I get to listen to them laugh and play together through the open kitchen door every evening and it reminds me of how much I love my little ones still being little.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

We fixed a Father's Day dinner for my dad, complete with my once a year caramel pecan cheesecake, and he ended up having to stay home because the canyon between here and there was closed for an accident.

So, Happy Father's Day to my dad, from whom I inherited my green eyes, sentimental streak, tendency to worry like a champ and complete inability to allow anyone to leave my house empty handed. Happy Father's Day to the man who taught me how to shoot a gun, do yard work well and occasionally got us all out of bed so we could go outside to hear an owl hoot or to watch Halley's Comet. Mom may not remember this as fondly, but we loved the chickens, ducks and turkeys that you spontaneously brought us home to raise.

Happy Father's Day to the dad who always expected the best out of us and who was absolutely right when he told me that I was "smart enough to be a straight A student" any time I brought home bad grades. All seven of us work hard at 'keeping our wits about us' even though it took us all many years to have a clue what that phrase even meant :-)

Happy Father's Day to my most regular correspondent while I was at school and when I lived in Holland (and who bullied the other siblings into writing me as well.) And to the one who made us all call before we left work at night as teenagers so he would know if we got stuck or lost along the way.

Happy Father's Day to the best Grandpa, who will always be a legend among his grandchildren because his toy collection rivals all of theirs put together, and who (I quote) "lets us bring home toys all the time." The kids will always remember Papa taking them crawdad fishing, to the 'stuffed up animal store' and roasting hot dogs in the fireplace.

Happy Father's Day Dad/Grandpa. We love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fine...she learned it from me.

Sis keeps getting her hands on my makeup (and not the walmart stuff. She goes straight for the Lancome.) This is her version of putting eye shadow on. Pretty, right? She thinks so. She kept dancing and curtsying (is that a word?) after she put it on.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's not a party unless I spend three days cooking...

You've been waiting for the party post right? Those of you who know how impossible it is for me to throw a party that is non-themed (and doesn't involve staying up until 2 in the morning frosting things) have been on the edge of your seats just wondering what I tortured myself with this year, right?

I do love to plan parties and usually start gathering ideas long before I need them (for instance, with all three of my kids, I had their blessing party menus laid out before I found out gender. It's just who I am :-) But there is no doubt that the parties I do can be stressful and the eve of every party has me swearing that the next one will be pizza and chips. By a few days post party, when I have caught up on sleep and the kitchen is cleared out again, I find I am telling myself that I could do gourmet pizza (with a pasta bar and several kind of breadsticks...) and I'm off again. When I was married, we often did dinner parties with our friends and I do miss it. So, the kids might get more spoiled on their birthday parties than I might otherwise have done but I am enjoying it while I can. I'm pretty sure that I am on my last year of Bubba having no opinions beyond blowing out candles and getting presents. I have something awesome planned.

Sis's birthday had a cupcake theme (loosely) this year. I like having it all come together. I love that few minutes right before guests arrive when everything is clean and set up just right (hence the constant pictures of the food) and I love sending my guests home full and with leftovers. So, as usual, we had too much food but the company was great. Britny came with an energy drink for me (I might have also taken on a lease renewal house inspection earlier in the day as well...) a back up costco cake and her family that I love. Phread supplied the grill and my Dad manned it. There were a million kids running in and out and Sis was a little shell shocked by so much attention by the end of the day. But it was fun and everyone (I hope) left full and happy.

The boys were up at the crack of dawn to give Sis her presents. She was more than happy to let them help her open them and then play with them.

Bubba was inspired to pick out nail polish for her. We have all had our nails painted repeatedly. When she runs out of people nails to color, she goes to work on her dolls.

Waiting for the food...

In this picture, you will have to just imagine the salads that were still in the refrigerator :-)

Adelle's Brats for the grown ups and hot dogs for the kids. Corn for everyone! (It's all about the food. You know that!)

The most unconventional birthday cake on the planet. This was a cupcake topiary. Birthday magic alone held those cupcakes on.

The treat table

Mini cupcake cake pops as party favors.

Because the topiary birthday cake was tipping a little by cake time, I had Sis blow out her candles on a different cake. She didn't want to have anything to do with the lit candles (good girl) and had to be coaxed to blow them out.

Sis had her BFF Gracey to show her the ropes on both opening her presents and then playing with them.

And yes, she had a matching outfit (of course.)

Thank you to everyone who made it and we missed those of you who didn't. We'll catch you at Bubba's party next month :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another 2 year old in the house

I am over a week late writing this, but better late than never (right? right?)

You are two! My darling with the soft hair I can still remember the feel of under my cheek is no longer a baby. No longer measured in months, we have moved to years and you are far more ready for it than I am. It's hard to believe that you were barely walking this time last year. Parenting you has been a different experience than it was with your brothers. When you are home, you are all mine and I am the only one you run to and follow around. Although I miss the experience of being able to watch you with your dad, I still get joy out of seeing you laugh and run to the door when he comes to pick you up. You have always been sweet natured, but there is no doubt that you are developing opinions and finding your inner diva. You are the princess around here and you know it. I try to set rules and be firm, but you make it so much harder to stick to them when you follow up your naughtiness with a saucy little grin and giggle. More than once, I have not made it out of your sight before I have to laugh and little stinker that you are, you know you've got me. You are fearless and that makes me one part proud and one part completely terrified.

You love your babies and carry them all over the house. I see you tuck them in carefully and rub their backs and give them kisses and I hope that that is how you remember being tucked in. You don't often wake up in the night anymore, but I find myself not minding very much when you do. It is one of the only times anymore that you aren't anxious to be on the go. We sit in the rocking chair and you pat my arm and gaze at my face and for a moment, I have my baby back. My baby that gave me so much comfort when I felt broken. My baby whose existence I will always be grateful for no matter the parenting circumstances. My baby who is growing into a precious little girl, who is far more active and mischievous than her brothers ever were (which is saying a lot for anyone who has met bubba) but is still the sunshine in our home. You are the sweetheart who will run to the boys if they are crying and give them kisses or will give me hugs in passing (as long as I let you be on your way after a few seconds.) Your brothers adore you and both of them often say they feel like we have the best baby ever. I always agree. The more you talk and learn, the more I am honored to be your mom and watch you grow and figure this life out. If two years can go by this quickly, I intend to remember to appreciate watching you every day for the next 16 just as much.

12 months

13 months

14 months

15 months

16 months

17 months

18 months

19 months

20 months

21 months

22 months

23 months

24 months