Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Birthday Moose

                                                                      Party exhaustion.

 Tractor cake!!  Cora, Anna, Papa, and Schroeder made the fondant barnyard animals.  Aunt Lary sent the tractors.  Dirt was really crushed up chocolate graham crackers.  Grass was green coconut. 

                                                                     First haircut.
                                                                       Hold me.
                                                     My wacky hormones want more babies!
                                                    Stop me before I populate the earth again!
                                                              My baby boy is a man.
                                                         Gasp.  Wheez.  Can't breathe.

When it's a birthday, you got it, you all must suffer through my birth story.  Hey, I had to live through it, the least you can do is commiserate with me.

I always want to start every story with "Buttercup was raised on a small farm in the country of Florin..." or "I was born a poor black child..."  I should probably stop watching movies.

Gianni is our third little bundle of joy.  We had planned on adopting and had started the paperwork (to this day I keep wondering who sent in their recommendation to the adoption agency...was it you?) but lo and behold, decided to go the old fashioned route instead and made one from scratch.  I am a fairly good pregnant lady, if you can get past the nausea, backaches, extreme mood swings, violent emotional outbursts, insomnia, and crying jags.  I always "show" really early, resulting in rude strangers asking if my 'twins are about to born at any second.'  Luckily, I stop growing at about 6 or 7 months and then all those same strangers coo about how 'little I look.'  Although that could be due to the extreme and violent outbursts.  Anywho.  I overcook my babies to the point of cajun style so I tend to be a tad bit cranky when my due date comes and goes and no baby.  Cora and Anna were C-section kids and I won't get into a big ol' debate, but I was pretty much done going that route and after researching and researching we decided to take the road less traveled and hope that three times was the charm.  I had a lovely midwife and a lovely doula and a lovely birthing center.  After having had three kids three different ways (scheduled C, emergency C, and VBAC) I can now say with all fervency and certainty, if I ever have a fourth it's because technology has advanced to the point of beaming out babies, Star Trek style.

Happy third birthday, my little Moose, my little Luigi, my little goober!  You were so worth it and you are the sunshine in our house. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

a frog on a log in a bog

Have I mentioned how crazy beautiful Michigan is in the fall?

              The colors are fabulous.  And inexplicably make me want to wear plaid.

 This was the scene of our most recent homeschooling field trip.  It was a bog!  For some reason I feel the need to use an exclamation point there.  The first book Cora ever read alone was something about a frog on a log in a bog.

    This is Cora's new buddy, Emily.  Isn't she a cutie pie?   I heart homeschoolers.

Our fearless leader was a retired biology professor.  He's pointing out a teeny tiny something-or-other.  He showed me too but it was so itty bitty I mostly nodded my head and pretended to see what he was showing me.  I tried to pretend I went to college for something academic and not for the pink tutus.  I think he was onto me.

 It's like I live in a postcard.

   This was a Pitcher Plant.

   This was me trying to be artistic, photographically speaking.

After our Thursday field trip we had our Friday homeschool co-op, where Cora got to have a choir class and gym, and Anna got have a scouting class and gym.  Did I mention how much I heart homeschoolers?

I have no idea why my print turned yellow. 
But I like it.

A couple Gianni-isms before you head off to bed:

After eating all my buffalo chicken stew with blue cheese crumbles, he said,
"Mom, give me some more bites with dat stinky cheese on it!"

After finding his shoes out in the back forty (with a caterpillar* in the toe) he cuddled them close to his heart and crooned,
"Oh my shoes, I missed you SO MUCH!"

The dominoes with the tiny dots, as opposed to the ones with the larger sized dots, are in his highly pitched voice, "Soooooo cute!"

He has been on a bathing strike for longer than I care to tell you, but I finally found the cure:  hanging him upside down by his feet and 'dipping' him in head first.

*caterpillar now deceased.

Monday, October 4, 2010

soap boxes

Everyone has soap boxes, I suppose.  I have a plethora.  A Pandora's soap box.  But I do try to keep my nutty opinions to myself most of the time as I have learned that most people really aren't interested in an opinion that varies wildly from their own.  Imagine that.  Pfft.


If you have a blog and want to vent your nutty opinions I will totally support that.  Actually, I'm in favor of all y'all getting your own blogs because sometimes I don't hear much from you (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) and you still feel all caught up with me and mine and our dirty laundry and it would be great if I could read what everyone else is doing these daze.  So go ahead.  Start one.  I will follow it and comment faithfully (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).

1.  Mean people.  And consistently cranky people.  People who go through life with a sour outlook and evidently feel the need to suffer through their pain, consequently forcing you to suffer though along with them. 

Do you remember that line from the movie Marvin's Room?  'He's dying...very we don't miss a thing.' 

The most cheerful, perky, happy people I know are the ones who have been through tragedies.  The cranky, unsmiling ones are the ones who seemed to have life handed to them on a silver platter and still find reasons to complain.  Odd, isn't it?  I hope I don't fall in the latter.  Ever.  I am deciding from this point onward to be full of joy no matter what.  If I come to church looking like I just ate lemons, please feel free to smack me.  If I whine so much your ears start to bleed, please offer me cheese.  And then please smack me.  I have a friend who had the worst childhood I have ever heard of and she is the perkiest, friendliest woman you could ever meet.  My dear friend, Mandy, lost her little girl which is something my brain can't even process several years later, yet she is the most outgoing, fun loving gal around.  I met this woman once in Wyoming at a homeschool swim event.  She had 8 children.  But two of them were dead.  They were only teenagers and they died together in a car accident.  She spent the hour that our kids were swimming telling me how I need to get up every morning and say Yes, God to whatever He has in store for me, because someday - unless you're the world's first ever person to never have a tragedy - you will be handed something you think you can't handle.  I don't even know her name and I will never see her again but I will never forget her.  Why do we think our lives are so hard?  Everyone has issues.  Everyone has baggage.  The kids here...they have baggage.  Some have a matching set of baggage.  But I know that someday at least one of them are going to change this world.  They're going to be big.  How many heroes in our world had life handed to them on a silver platter?  I don't have any silver platters to hand anything to these kids.  I have a couple plastic ones from the dollar store.  And all I can put on them are some hope and some attention and some prayers and time and maybe some apple cake.  That's the best we can do.  That's all we can do.  I don't want my own kids to have everything their hearts desire.  They need to know that money is tight, that that toy is unnecessary, that that food is unhealthy, that that bully won't magically disappear, that grown ups make mistakes, that God is big and we are small, that respect is important, that knowledge is amazing, that hard work is everything, that the world does not revolve around them but around all of us.   I want them to not just to get into college, not just to graduate, not just to meet a nice spouse, not just to find a comfortable job, but to do something.  Lots of things!  Have adventures and go places and find new things and discover what's real and what's not, have lives that their great great grandchildren will talk about.  To not waste time.

Ok, it's only one soap box.  And I'll step off it now.

photo daze

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Post About Absolutely Nothing

Have you ever thought you didn't like something but then tried it again, after like, I don't know, 32 years and say,

'What have I been missing?'

That happened recently with both cocktail sauce (come to Mamma, yummy spicy deliciousness, come to Mamma!) and blueberries, which frankly, I still don't love and adore the same way I do, say, canned 'shrooms, but are in fact, quite nice. 

I remember eating a sundried tomato at the age of about 12 and having to discreetly spit it out in the trash.  It was that horrifyingly awful.  Now I could snarf an entire basket.  Pound?  Bushel?  Peck?  A hug around the neck?

Potato chips and cake and butter.  All I most likely would have loved all along but didn't eat for ten years due to being a neurotic ballerina.  Neurotic ballerinas don't eat those things.  Actually, not true, most do but then there are things going on later in the dressing room involving vomiting and since I was certainly not ever going to go that route, I elected not to eat them period. 

Someone just today asked me,

'Hey, can you still do the ballerina?'

I think he meant 'can I still dance ballet?'  But it sorta sounded like doing the macarena and I had to stifle a giggle.

I cannot really do the ballerina these days but I can still do a mean macarena.

You will never convert me to a love of mayo and sweet pickles though so don't even try.  Also anything with fake sugar.  Or cancer sprinkles as I like to call em.  Which will make people who love their sweet and low think I am bashing them for their flavor lifestyle of choice when I am not and you probably shouldn't listen to me because I also am of the opinion that sunscreen more than likely gives you skin cancer.  That being said, I am not a doctor, I just play one on blogger.

Speaking of doctors, oh my dear, dear Dr Shepherd, I am losing hope that I will ever finish Lost.  It sits, gathering dust on top my entertainment center, where I almost, practically, just about get to attempt to try to start watching it.  I remember when I could watch a 90 minute movie in, get this, 90 minutes!  92 if there was a need for a potty break.  Now a 90 minute movie takes me approximately 4 months.  I'm not the world's best mathematician, but I am pretty certain that a long running television show will be fully finished and enjoyed by yours truly at about the same time I am a withered old crone chasing young children off my lawn and feeding my 14 cats and filing my bunions on my wrinkly age-spotted feet.

I actually had this experience just last month (not the bunion filing one, the one where I attempt to watch a whole movie in  one two three   four days.)  I borrowed Leap Year from my dear pal, Mariah, who is the queen of chick flicks, and I was quite excited about the eye candy boy with the irish accent watching a movie all by my lonesome, one that didn't involve The iHannah Montana of Waverly Place with Deadliest Warrior VS Food.  It took me four painful, angst filled days where I was sneaking off to the laptop for three minutes here and there to hit Play only to be met with a desperate holler from some juvenile delinquent who wanted my undivided attention.  To be honest, I am not even a big fan of the chick flick and I didn't even particularly adore this one, but it was a point of honor suddenly that I get to finish this darn movie if it killed me.  At the end of the four days when I was stewing in frustration and determined to finally reach the credits and I knew, gosh dang it, I was only ten minutes away from my typical Hollywood ending, Mike broke into my bedroom sanctuary. 

'Leave me alone!'  I said with all the maturity I could muster.

'Whatcha watching?'

'Go away. I'm not here. I'm in Ireland with Cutie McWhatshisface.'

'Ok.  Just gonna make a phone call.  Right here.  By your ear.  With my bass, opera trained voice.  Talking to my mom.  Just pretend like I'm not here.'


The end.

                                             When he fell asleep the bandaid was on his foot...