Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why I Don't Blog So Much

This was our big trip last week: to the play area at the mall. Not a lot of history here. Or cultural significance. Not even a cohesive theme with a Winnie-the-Pooh treehouse and dinosaur bones [?].
I will say that it is a great age to take the kids: Joss loves it, and Sebi is his gentle giant of a bodyguard. He shepherds his little brother around on the slide, through the tunnel and pulls his foot out when it gets stuck between dino teeth. But, oh, when I think of the depths to which we've sunk, I just find it hard to chronicle.

Will: Star of the Week

Today is Will's birthday. In honor of it, his teacher made him the Star of the Week, where he gets to put up a poster about himself and bring in his favorite book to have read to the class. The text below is what he put up on the poster, and I was gratified to realize that it sounded amazing and was 100% fib free:

I was born in Berkeley, California on November 19th. I was Ten pounds, ten ounces!

I like to: play Wii . . .jump on the trampoline . . .create programs with Scratch . . . build with Legos . . .

I love the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.

Weird Al Yankovic is my favorite singer. I also like Owl City, Vampire Weekend, and Mika.

I want to go to MIT when I leave for college, and I want to be an inventor when I grow up.

I am the author and illustrator of Plunger Boy comics

I have taken rockclimbing, soccer, swimming and fencing and I play violin [ugh!].

This summer I went on a 44km bike trip. I also climbed to the top of the Vienna cathedral and trekked through the world’s largest ice cave and slid down wooden slides into a salt mine that was thousands of years old.

I have traveled to Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Burley Idaho, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Barcelona, Munich, Budapest, Nuremburg, Dresden, and Dorfgastein.

I’ve been swimming in the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean Oceans. I attended school in Vienna, Berlin, at BYU and Westridge.

My favorite books have been Calvin and Hobbes, Asterix and Obelix, Captain Underpants, a few Gordon Korman series, Percy Jackson and Cat Warriors.

My favorite foods are bison meatloaf, Italian ice cream, and spaghetti with meatballs.
[just yesterday I came across this paper. I have no idea when I wrote it (probably around 2004) but it said: "Last night Will's prayer was 'Dear Heavenly Father. We're thankful for this day. Please bring back dinosaurs to the earth. But not T-rexes. Please help us to sleep well. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.'" Happy Birthday, Will-O! I can't believe how big you've grown!]

Lantern Party

Rob put together another St. Martin's day lantern-making party to celebrate a reluctant bishop. We had about 50 people show up, and everyone made paper lanterns. Some were very traditional and some were really creative. [and totally off topic here, but Will and Logan, above, are both in 4th grade. In fact, Will is actually 14 months younger than Logan. Lest you think that I exaggerate about how monstrous large my children are. The first thing Sebi's kindergarten teacher said at his parent/teacher conference was "Sebi is huge. I saw him walk in and I thought 'oh, I've got a repeater in here' but no, he's just huge." end of tangent]

I really like Kaisa's lantern here. It looks traditional to me. I was also thrilled to see several more hedgehogs patterned after mine (it's a great pattern, though he's looking tired after three years).
Then we went out, lit them up, and walked around singing lantern songs. Tasha, above, just got her mission call to the Berlin, Germany mission, where we just sent Lillian, another of our Vienna study abroaders from this summer. Congrats to Tasha! We're excited for her, and also for McKay, who is going to Ventura, California Spanish-speaking. The man is going to enjoy some fantastic food (he does wherever he goes, and his enthusiasm is contagious. His strudels are better than mine now)!
Everyone sang as they walked, and walked, and walked, and this year we remembered matches and lighters (yay!). Cindy and I fell behind with two babies, three lanterns and one stroller to lug up the stairs, but we had a nice discussion about Michael Pollan and the politics of eating. People appeared to have a good time, but the highest compliment came from a German native student who said "This is just like my childhood!"
Posted by Picasa


Here is Joss with his cousin, Cal. Joss was really intrigued with somebody smaller than he -- we don't seem to have many babies around him, though he did pick up the word. We think maybe he learned it from Elmo's World? Poor, poor fourth child whose parents can't even be counted on to teach him new words. Cal was a good baby and smiled and drank and slept and hung out in his baby seat like good babies do.

Posted by PicasaWe had a fun time catching up with my cousin and his wife. They're very chill about being new parents. Rob and I were such stress cases that it seems novel to us. We practically got a divorce one morning over putting Maddie's clothes on backwards (yeah, I wish I were joking . . .). Not only are they lucky to have a great baby, they are supremely lucky because they get to move out to the Bay Area next year. So we're pretty green with envy.

On Our Toes!

During family prayer the other night, we heard Joss saying "Amen! Amen!" and when we finished and ran into the kitchen, here's what we saw.

He bites off the apple peel and spits it out. All over.

The next morning, I said something to Rob, he said something to me, and we turned around to see this:


He also loves to open my purse and pull out my wallet, dealing all of my cards out to the four winds a few times a day. He picks up any phone and starts dialing numbers (only a matter of time before he finds 911 and cops begin showing up). He climbs on the counter, goes to the cupboard and takes out glasses and bowls to throw on the floor (casualties: two). He pulls toilet paper off the roll and all over the bathroom (I had to tell Rob that we are only doing 1-ply and wimpy-sized rolls right now).

Making dinner has been a complete nightmare recently until my sister showed up with some super strong magnets that one of her co-workers is marketing as childproofing. They are great! Easy to install with just stickers and everybody else is strong enough to open the cupboards/drawers. I liked them so well I had to order more. Now he still hangs around during dinner prep, but I know he can't get to the cereal, the knives or the noxious chemicals while my back is turned.

I know it's a phase, but I'm praying that it ends soon. Preferably before my sanity.

Posted by Picasa

Daddy Daughter Date

A few weeks back Maddie and Rob had Daddy-daughter dinner with a backwards theme.
Maddie's outfit was particularly appropriate because she got it when she and Rob went thrifting: Gap velvet jacket and NWT Banana Republic pants. What great bargain hunters! And a handsome couple, too!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trick or Treat

First we carved pumpkins. We got pumpkin carving kits this year at Maddie's behest. Her friend, whose father is an ER doctor, uses these and they say they're safer than kitchen knives. We found they worked really well. Maddie carved that spider all by herself, and even Sebi was able to manage some carving on his own. Will's was the Plunger Boy pumpkin -- Plunger Boy is the protagonist in the cartoons that Will draws. His are heavily inspired by, or as scatalogically minded as Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (whom I have a grudging respect for now that I've read the entire series out loud to Sebi; the teachers are named Ms. Ribble, Mister Fied, and Misses Dapoint, among others). Betsy came over and carved her mummy with a butter knife, so I guess you never know what is going to work.
Joss was Elvis and he loved it. As much as I enjoyed watching the ladies coo over him, my favorite was watching him smile at his own rhinestones as they sparkled. Thanks go to Saydi (and Aja) for the white jumpsuit. He was a hit. He wore his light up Elmo and Cookie Monster shoes, because I figured that if they had had light up shoes in Elvis' day, he would have worn them. And he is completely crazy about the candy.
A week before Halloween, Sebi didn't know what he was going to be and told me he'd just rather stay home. I took it as a huge parenting failure on our part. Rob and I got his ok on Indiana Jones and when the pieces came together, he wore it nonstop for a week. I think he's happy that he didn't opt out now.
Kiecoo invited us to trick or treat at her work on Friday, which was a good warm up. There were flurries outside and we were happy to be in the nice warm office with decorations and costumed workers and lots of people handing out candy. They even had a room done up like the Nightmare before Christmas.
Maddie actually came up with Will's costume. He is the Dim Reaper, with his dunce cap and his toucan/scythe. He said the teachers thought it was funny, but most of the kids didn't get it. Could be our bumper sticker, no?
And Maddie went with friends Fabigail and Frances as three Greek goddesses (L-R): Artemis, Aphrodite and Athena. They had a great time together, and we parents couldn't help but holler "One Grecian Urrrrrrrrn!"
Posted by Picasa