Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bring it, Summer!

*photo of The Boy on the boat with a fish:

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer.  The kids' last day of school was yesterday, so now we have a senior and freshman in high school and a third grader.  That is crazy, yo.  CRAZY.

Summer means the following to us:
  • Fishing on the boat - as the photo of The Boy shows above, he caught this beauty Thursday night when his dad didn't catch a thing.  He was mighty proud of 'showing up' his old man. 
  • Softball.  Today and tomorrow, Bumblebee has a softball tournament.  Wish it were a little warmer so I could soak in some sun while I watch the games, but the heat will come to Iowa. Eventually.
  • Camping trips - the easy way.  We've already told my mom that we're going to camp on her land.  We get the benefit of a bonfire, cooking over the flame, roasting marshmallows, telling scary stories, sleeping under the stars, and waking up smelling that easygoing smoke scent in our hair.  All with having showers and bathrooms within easy walking distance.
  • Homework assignments.  Yep.  That's right.  The kids will get them each weekday this summer, unless there is a special event going on.  I send them different assignments each day and they have to get them done by the time I'm home from work.
  • Trips to the lake or the pool to swim and catch some sun.
  • Weddings (a big family one this summer will be fun)
  • Hiking with the dog and the kids.  Someone convince The Husband that hiking is really fun.  Please?  We love it, and there are a lot of fun trails to discover within a short drive from our house.
I feel almost as giddy as the kids this morning, as I look ahead to the summer before us.  In the snap of a finger it will be the fourth of July, and then, another instant will bring Labor Day.  Summer just doesn't last long in this part of the country.  Perhaps that's why it's so precious to us.

Happy Summer, y'all!!

Update on what's been going on with us lately:

Goblin has decided that his or her days of making mama sick are over.  I have felt great for at least a week (knock on wood) with no nausea in sight.  Which means I've been eating like a... well, something that eats a lot.

Bumblebee had a nasty accident with the treadmill Wednesday night.  It could have been so, so much worse.  The Husband saw her fall, sprinted across the family room to help her (she was stuck between the belt and the wall) and she still ended up with multiple skin burns that are pretty gross looking.  Poor thing kept telling me, "I'm so mad at myself.  You and Daddy tell me not to play on the treadmill.  Now I know why.  I wish I would have listened." We are very thankful that she wasn't more seriously hurt, as it could have been much worse.

The Husband is ripping out the nasty, pet stained carpet in the family room today while I'm at the softball tournament.  There is concrete beneath, and if we are lucky, it'll be in good enough condition to stain it and seal it.  We'll throw some area rugs around in there, but until we have pets and kids who don't ruin things (read: never) concrete and rugs seems much easier to keep clean than carpet.

So that's about it for us.  Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Communion

My little Bumblebee had her First Communion this past weekend.
*photo of an angelic Bumblebee:

There is just something about the magic of a child and their perspective on God.  Doubts haven’t begun to creep into their beliefs and at the age of seven everything is pure, simple, and in a word: holy.

It was a lovely day.  The weather was a bit on the chilly side, so I don’t mean beautiful to describe the weather.  I woke up early to decorate the cupcakes I made for the luncheon we’d be having before mass.  Just a small group of family, nothing too stressful to manage, which is good since I’d spent most of Saturday parked next to my barf bucket.  (Our little Goblin is still giving its momma a hard time… someday we’re going to have a chat about this.) The Husband and the kids woke up fairly early and helped get the house in order.  At one point, when all five of us were busy doing some sort of chore to get ready for the luncheon, I stopped and smiled, while thinking to myself,  This is teamwork, and it’s lovely.

The grandparents were there:
*photo of Nanna with Bumblebee:
*photo of Grandpa E with Bumblebee:
*photo of Grandma D and Grandpa C with Bumblebee:
*photo of Grandma J and Larry with Bumblebee:

As were Uncle Z and soon to be Aunt M:

We even got a picture of her with the neighbor girls, her best friends:

It was nice having the family together for the occasion:
*photo of the family:
*photo of just the kids:

Mass was a nice, sweet event.  The readings were done by the children in their high, sweet, slightly halting voices.  Father Dan addressed the children specifically in the homily and all eyes were on him.  They were listening to his message on becoming an adult in the church community and making their own decision on taking Communion.

Bumblebee got to read some of the prayer petitions, and she did a lovely job.  Her voice was clear, the volume was perfect, and she pronounced the word catechists just as we practiced it.  It made me cry.  I’m such a sap.

When it was time for the children to go up and receive Communion, I choked up again.  Gah!  I don’t think I can blame these emotions on hormones, because these were just normal rite of passage waterworks. Bumblebee took the host, and then the wine.  When we all got back to our seats, and were singing the song during Communion, we cracked up to notice that Bumblebee had the hiccups.

Every time she tried to sing, she hiccupped.

Yep, that’s my kid.  Zero tolerance for alcohol.  At least it’ll be easy to spot if she tries to steal from the liquor cabinet as a teenager.

It really was a lovely day.  I can’t believe she’s big enough for this.  Many thanks to the family who made the trip to see this special event.  She was proud to have you all there, and enjoyed her special day.

This weekend is another busy one.  Soon to be Aunt M’s bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Should be fun!  Guess who’s going to take a lot of pictures and be the designated driver? 

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to pass the time when you have an hour to kill at a track meet...

...and it's too cold outside to actually watch anybody but your own child run:
*photo collage of Bumblebee and me goofing around in the car and making silly faces:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A photo tour: Hollywood's Junior Prom

Yesterday was Hollywood's junior prom.  She's been looking forward to this for months and months, ever since she saw the dress online.  She and her boyfriend have been dating for about a year and a half now, and were excited to glam it up together.

I was happy to be a part of it all.  For those of you who know me well, this first picture will astonish you.  With the exception of powder smelling baby tootsies, I don't like feet. It was a joke in high school, in fact, my high school crush once taped a piece of foot skin to a card, wrote the words words "yum, yum, foot scum" on it, and mailed it to me.  (shudder)  At any rate, this is how much I love my firstborn. I gave her a pedicure!
*photo of me scrubbing Hollywood's feet, giving her a pedicure.

After that, I did her friend Nicole's hair.  It turned out pretty:
*photo of Nicole's hair:

Hollywood was her friends' sought after makeup artist, so she did a few girls' makeup:
*photo of Hollywood putting false eyelashes on her friend:

Then I finished up Hollywood's hair while she did her own makeup:
*photo of me doing H's hair:

Then it was time to put on the dress. This thing has a fancy corset back which means I had to lace it all the way down and cinch it tight so that Hollywood's dress would stay up:
*photo of Hollywood being helped into her dress:

Why, yes.  That is a picture of Barack Obama's head superimposed onto an underwear model's body on Hollywood's door.  I have no idea what the story is there, and quite frankly, I'm afraid to ask.

Once we got the dress on, this is how it looked.  It's just beautiful.  I have honestly never seen a dress like this before - it's unique and fun style truly fits Hollywood's personality.
*photo of Hollywood in her dress:

Then it was time for more photos. Here are some of the girls who were hanging out at the house:


And then the boys showed up.  Here's Hollywood's date.  Isn't he adorable?
*photo of Thad:
"Don't poke me!" He's thinking here, as Hollywood attempts to attach his buttoneire. She was pretty creative in how she attached it, but it seemed to work!


His job was much easier - the corsage just slid on her arm:

After taking the indoor shots, we headed out to the back yard, where the kids were met with a stern warning to look out for dog poo.  The yard had been cleaned up and mowed earlier in the day, but you never can be too careful.  It was a beautiful day, which was a relief, since we've had a couple of weeks of gray, rainy, cold weather in Iowa.  Here is a group of them outside:


We didn't take all poses completely seriously, as you can tell:
*Hollywood and Thad doing goofy faces for the camera:
*another goofy shot:
*A goofy pose with Bumblebee hiding under Hollywood's dress and her dad smiling next to them:

Then we took some sweet pictures.  I love this one of Hollywood giving The Husband a kiss on the cheek:


This is a picture of the back of the dress:


And, of course, a shot of the back of Thad's tux:


I think they were wiping off glitter here - Hollywood was wearing some glitter powder and Thad ended up wearing a lot of it too:


I love this picture - the girls circled around, enjoying their day.  A couple of them were underclassmen who weren't going to prom (the blonde girl is Thad's sister) and they came over to watch the girls get ready:


Two of my brothers were visiting for the afternoon- here they are feeding Hollywood giant burritos:
*photo of K and Z with Hollywood:

My sisters-in-law look pretty low key here, but don't be fooled.  Their burritos where hiding behind their backs:
*photo of D and M with Hollywood:

We got a nice shot of Hollywood with me.  I love that everything is finally green and leaves are budding on the trees!


This is a closeup of Hollywood's corsage.  Beautiful purple gerber daisies, with tiny orange accent flowers and rhinestones, along with an orange sparkly bow:


And one last kiss on the cheek before heading off to dinner:
*photo of Hollywood giving Thad a kiss on the cheek:

There was a huge group of kids who rented a party bus and went to dinner at The Latin King, a restaurant in Des Moines.  They had a nice time there, and the bus dropped them back off at the site of the dance, where the whole community was waiting to watch them all walk into the prom:
*photos of the community waiting for the kids:


Bumblebee found some of her friends and held council at the second grader's prom attendance meeting:
*photo of Bumblebee with four other girls from her class:

Finally, the bus arrived and the kids lined up to go underneath the red canopy and begin the walk into the prom.  As they walked down the pathway into the dance, an announcer read their names, where they were from, and who their parents are.
*photo of the kids lined up to walk under a red tent to begin their promenade:

Hollywood and Thad were one of the first couples to enter the dance:


They were in a hurry - look how fast Hollywood is walking!


But finally, they stopped for one last photo before they headed off to the dance:
*photo of Thad and Hollywood before entering the dance:


After the dance, the kids came home and changed into sweatpants and headed off to the after-prom event.  The event was held at Incredible Pizza, one of those game/arcade places.  They had games, prizes, a hypnotist, etc. that lasted until 5 a.m. when the bus brought the kids back to the school to come home to sleep.  Hollywood won an emergency car care kit that comes complete with jumper cables and roadside flares.  Not a bad prize, but she was hoping to win the laptop or ipad.

She came in at 5:30 this morning, with a smile on her sleepy face.  Off to bed she went, to sleep for the next several hours.

All in all, I think it was a wonderful night for her.  I was happy to be a part of it all, and I so enjoyed seeing her off on such an adventure.