Friday, December 30, 2011

S to the NOW

That's SNOW, in case you were wondering.

It's been awhile.  Don't hate!  December is nuts!  But in a very fun way.  For now, I will take you back to November, right after Thanksgiving, when we decided to take a trip to play in the snow.  Wyatt's very first snow day!  I mean, it kinda snowed here last year, but not enough to really enjoy and besides...he was only one and he was grumpy about the cold.

Anyhow, Henry was over-the-top excited to show his bro the awesomeness of a winter wonderland.  First, however, we needed some before pics.


Honestly, we love them!


If I look tired in this picture, it is due to the fact that this is the last picture in a series of no-one-is-looking-at-the-camera-when-we-tell-them-to.  Oh well.  At least they were excited!


To the snow!

Here is Jim showing Wyatt the ropes of snowman building:


One child is not so sure of the cold,


one child is ecstatic.


Here is Wyatt's very first snowball!


Guess who Daddy told him to hit???


Hmph.  I suppose his utter joy was worth it. :)

Did I mention that Henry L.O.V.E.S. the snow?  And also that he loves wearing one of my hats?  It fits well, no?

This is toward the end of our snowplay.  Most of us were having a great time still. 

I kid.  Wyatt loved the snow!  He just appears slightly worried in the pictures.

And, AND!  I remembered to get a good picture of Jim with the boys.  A rarity.  My remembering, that is.  Anyhow, Henry is too GQ for you and Wyatt is still slightly worried, but a cute pic nonetheless.



And because I know you are dying for videos, here is son1 and son2 on their first sledding adventure together:

video

One last video.  Pretty sure if it snowed year-round, Henry would be in heaven.

video

This concludes one of what I hope will be many catch up and future posts.  Please note: HOPE.
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Halloween in the Hizzouse!

             How do you make a crazy holiday like Halloween even crazier?  You decide the day before to invite all your friends over to trick or treat!

The night started out with Obi Wan, Obi Wan, Obi Wan and Yoda.  Yoda is in awe of the general Forciness of Obi Wani.  <--get it?  I know.  I should totally do stand-up.

 

It didn't take long before Yoda realized the Wans' were talking things way too seriously...


But how can you deny that the Force is strong with them?


"Ready for candy, I am."


More Jedi...


More...


And here, you may bask in the glory of our spectacular pumpkin:


Henry designed our pumpkin and I performed the surgery.  Why so sad, you ask?

Well...


Why, because Jedi always win!


As soon as darkness fell, our friends began arriving!  There was much rejoicing.


Also, general goofiness.


Aren't they all so cute?  At this point, we were waiting on Henry, who was finding his THIRD trick or treat container of the night.  Because he broke his first bucket and then ripped the back-up bag.  Before we even started. 

There are not many things much cuter than kiddos in their costumes, however, something else grabs my eye in this next pic.  Guess what.


You're welcome!

And here is Nate, trying to use the Force on my camera so we can begin the candy hunt!


Just because... 


I know.  They are SO cute.  I mean, how could you not love this little Princess Puppy?


Here is an example of what it looked like when we arrived at any given door:


Let's just say that some of the homeowners had a slight look of shock when they opened the door.  Likely they were experiencing panic at the possibility of not having enough candy.

Here is the sweetest Cinderella I ever did see:
(also please note the attention Wyatt - aka Yoda -  is paying to that flower pot thing in the background)


Kids have received their candy and walked off and he's...


Well, that was weird.  Luckily, he snapped out of it and yelled "TREAT!" at the nice man.  I think the most fun part for Wyatt was talking about the great candy he just received at one house until we arrived at the next house.  Especially that one house that gave my two year old a full size bag of M&M's. 


It was at this point that Jim and I switched duties (haha...doodies) and I manned the house to pass out candy.  Jim left the camera I handed him on the coffee table.

Sigh.

So I picked it back up when everyone arrived and promptly dumped out their spoils to enjoy the general splendor and choose their One Treat.  Some got a little protective, and rightly so, I say.


Of all the candy (Butterfingers!  100 Grand!  Banana Laffy Taffy!  What?) he received, Henry wanted his One Treat to be...chocolate covered pretzels:


At first, I was confused by this, but then I realized that my son is a genius.  There were like 7 or 8 pretzels in there!

Here is Wyatt opening his SECOND tootsie roll.  There are no more photos of him after this because, well, I like people to imagine he is super-cute and pleasant all the time.  Even after he gets his candy taken away.


Disney cuties:


Abby's hair was the greatest!

Nina helped Princess Puppy open her One Treat,


Aaaand...


Win!


Someone's been a busy little bee:


Can you spot the minor display of sugar/being with friends/general Halloween coma? 


SO many funny things about this picture!  HA!


To sum it up, it wasn't just crazy...it was CRAZY FUN!  Adding people you love into the mix of an already good time just makes it awesome.  The kids had a blast and the memories that were made are priceless.  The first thing Henry said as he crawled into bed that night was, "How many more days till we get to do that again?"  Even Wyatt rambled on and on about the fun as he went through his bedtime routine.  His best memories were "Candy!" and "Nina held my hand!"  Priceless.

And now, I leave you with what true joy of a time well had looks like:



And to all, a good night!
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Friday, October 28, 2011

How My Flatiron Ruined My Life

Do you ever have those moments when you realize you've been saying something for a really long time that is completely untrue?  Only, you kind of forgot that it wasn't true? 

Recently, I was having a conversation with some of my life-support mommy friends about hair.  About how, even with the best intentions and perhaps even a special event to attend, my hair always ends up in a messy bun at the back of my head.  At some point, I stated that a quick flip with the rubber band is just loads easier than pulling out the flatiron.  Not to mention that my children care more about how fast I can get their food on the table than what my hair looks like.  Someone exclaimed, "But I thought your hair was perfectly straight?!"  To which I replied with something like, "No way, man.  It's like half kinky, half wavy.  It's always been such a pain.  Without the flatiron, I'd  look like an amazon woman!"

Later, as I was brushing my teeth, I was also staring at my hair, which I had just pulled out of its 15 hour bun.  Pretty stuff.  Anyhow, I was thinking about a picture I have of me and my friend in high school and I realized I was a liar!

Lie #1: It's always been such a pain.
Lie #2: Without the flatiron, I'd look like an amazon woman!

When I was a baby all the way through about sixth grade, I took a bath at night and slept on wet hair.  And my hair was straight and soft and manageable.  After that, I started taking showers in the morning, usually blow drying what portion of my head was still wet before I ran for the bus or my ride to school.  And my hair was straight and soft and manageable.  In college, I usually showered at night to avoid the morning bathroom craze and if I was feeling groovy, I might use a fat curling iron to spice up the ends of my long hair.  The rest was straight and soft and manageable.

We interrupt this post to admit there were a couple poodle perms in there somewhere, in which case my hair was NOT straight, but scrunched to crisp perfection.  It 'twas the late 80's/early 90's after all.

Back to my lament. 

So I'm standing there in my current-day bathroom thinking to myself, "Huh.  I used to have straight hair."  And then I am wondering, very confused-like, when my hair became unstraight.  You might guess that it was when I became pregnant or had a baby, since a lot of us know what those demons we call "hormones" can do to every last inch of our bodies.  But no...you would be wrong. 

I had straight hair until Fall of 2002.  I was 24 years old.  I had a newish job and a girl I worked with had what seemed to be thinner, totally sleek hair.  I complimented her on her runway looking hair and she said to me, "Oh, thanks.  It's because I use a flatiron every day.  It helps it stay super-smooth all day." 

I had no idea what she was talking about, but probably something like the next day I owned one.  The very first day I used it, I got complimented on my hair by several people in the office.  So then I straightened my straight hair.  Every day.  For many, many, many days.  Since I had an office job, my hair had to look nice from Monday to Friday and then of course I had to look nice for Jesus on Sundays.  I can't really remember that long ago, but I'm assuming that I probably wore a perfectly parted ponytail on Saturdays, all sleeked back thanks to the ironing I had performed on my hair the day before.  There were a few times, I showered and left my hair wet (only on a Saturday, of course) and **shock** there was a bit of wave to it.  So I put some mousse in it and scrunched it up! 

Of course, then I kind of looked like I tried to perform an at-home perm my myself and forgot to attend to half my hair.  Anyhow, suddenly, my hair was weird.  It wasn't straight, but it wasn't curly.  It was kind of a hybrid.  And not like the efficient car.  More like those crazy monster-hybrids you hear about on shows like the Vampire Diaries.  So I continued to flatiron my hair.

This practice went on religiously for almost four years.  Then I had a baby.  And if you are a new mom and have time to shower AND flatiron your hair, then either YOUR mom lives with you or you're rich and have a nanny.  Pretty much, since mid-2006, I have lived with hair that is not straight, soft or manageable.  It is kinky and frizzy and out of control.

I still occasionally iron my head for church on Sundays, and that is pretty much limited to Sundays where I'm standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people who might feel pity for me if I didn't spend half and hour making my hair look like it just IS that way.  Yes, half an hour.  20 minutes if I'm in a hurry.  I can't do anything at 50% (except clean the house or finish painting or okay maybe it's just about vanity in this case) so I iron my head in layers so each individual strand is perfectly straight. 

Ugh.  It doesn't even look friendly!



So.  In conclusion, I hate my flatiron.  It ruined my ability to let my hair air dry without looking like I walk around in a humidity bubble.  I sentenced it to daily burnings for years and it won't let me forget it. 

It showed me.

Also, did I just blog about a flatiron?  Well...at least I blogged.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I'm the mother of a Kindergartner

So.  As (all five of you reading this) know, today was the BIG DAY.  The day started off normal enough.  The first realization I had this morning was that I made a good choice putting Henry in afternoon Kindergarten.  He came down the stairs about 5 minutes after the morning bus left our neighborhood.  At this point, I don't know how he is ever going to get enough sleep for 1st grade!  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I'll think about that next week.

We had breakfast.  We played Legos.  I cleaned.  The kids argued.  Normal!  Then it was 10:15, and I had to feed Henry something filling and nutritious to get him through the afternoon.  I made Henry half a turkey and cheese sandwich with some grapes to eat before he left for the bus stop, knowing he would get a snack at school, but nothing else substantial until 2:30 when he was dropped off back home.  It didn't really phase Henry.  "Cool!  A sandwich!"  This is a kind of weird con of having afternoon class, but I'm telling myself it's only one year and he probably won't even notice the difference.  

What DID get noticed was Henry getting to eat something.  The wee one in the house wanted his lunch, too, but ended up settling for some good ol' goldfish.  I'm hoping Wyatt gets the hang of things soon or I shall go crazy trying to explain to him why Henry is eating lunch and he is not.

Moving on.  It is 10:40.  Henry's bus comes at 10:54.  I asked Henry to come over and sit with me for a minute so we could pray together.  He was very happy about this and had a big smile on his face the whole time we prayed.  Then we took a few pictures!


I know, I know.  Cute. 

And also, someone loves his brother!


Then we ran out the door to get to the bus stop in time!  The bus stop is right in front of our house, so we made it without delay.  I will sum up our bus stop experience with two words.  Bright.  Hot.


Then the bus came!  It came to a stop and I turned to my right to talk Henry through the process when what to my wondering eyes did appear??  MY CHILD running up the bus steps with great cheer!  I had to gather my jumbled thoughts quickly and yell out "Let me take a picture!"  He gladly obliged, while a shorter family member tried to become a stowaway.


Henry sat down in the very first seat.  He was the first Kinder to be picked up and all alone on the big bus but he sat down with confidence and a huge smile.  Have I mentioned that he has been talking about riding the school bus since he was 2?  The sweet bus driver lady shut the doors and Henry looked down at us and waved. 

And that's when I started to cry. 

My sweet, shy, timid child just skipped up the steps of his bus and waved goodbye on his way to big kid school. 


I was dealing with bittersweet feelings of sadness and loss but the little brother was plain out angry.  Here he is watching the big cheese wagon that stole his big brother away:


Since it was the first day, parents were invited to come to school and hang out for a bit.  Henry knew I would see him there but he didn't know I'd be waiting as he got off the bus.  Surprise! 


Yeah...I still can't get over this whole school bus thing.

The principal met all the kids as they got off the bus and walked them to their class.  There was something about watching all these little guys taking in their surroundings with huge eyes.  Oh yeah.  It was the fact that THEY ARE STILL BABIES!

 
Some nice helper lady welcomed Henry and helped him find his cubby.

Then his teacher came over and said hello!  She seems really great.

Then the kids could either play with blocks or look at books on the carpet while we waited for everyone to arrive/get settled/etc.  Unfortunately for Henry, the bus was a little late getting to school on the first day and clean-up time occurred approximately 30 seconds after he sat down with some blocks.  His preschool teachers will appreciate what happened next.  Tears.  He's never been great at transitions, especially when he hasn't had enough time to complete what he's doing.  But he did so good.  He didn't make a loud noise, which is what we're all used to.  He just looked at me and broke my heart as big ol' croc tears spilled out of his eyeballs and he said quietly, "But I didn't even get to do it."  I gave him a squeeze and told him that he'd get another chance and that the teacher just wanted to get their new and exciting day started.  

Usually, these moments last a loooong time, as Henry tries unsuccessfully to regain his composure.  Today though, he pulled it together and found a seat near the back.  The teacher took roll.  When she called his name, he raised his hand:

 
...and then I left.  I walked out the doors, but took a quick look back through the window before I took off.  My baby looked back at me and with a little smile on his face, he waved.
And here is where I cried again.  I waved back, blew him a kiss and made my way back to the parking lot.  So many thoughts.  So many memories.  So many feelings!  I am still trying to fathom how he's even old enough to be here.  Beyond that, I am completely dumbfounded at his courage and confidence today.  We have prayed and prayed about being brave and trying new things and remembering that God is always with us all the time, everywhere...  It's like today, it just clicked.  For whatever reason, he was just so excited about the whole thing, he just went for it. 

Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I'm the proud, proud mother of a Kindergartner.

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