One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pin Face

I recently rediscovered this toy from my childhood. For the life of me, I can't remember what it's called, but we've all played with them. Anyways...the kids have had a blast playing

Here we have Genna's smiling face embedded into the pins, and the real life smile on her actual face beside it. Uncanny likeness. We also have Sam in the background, who looks like he has sprouted off of Genna's shoulder, like one of Zeus's progeny.

Sam seemed interested enough in the toy that I pressed it onto his face. He was so surprised that he didn't react for a moment. His indecision can be seen in the pins. By the time I took this photo, he was able to recover from the shock and glower.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three Little Girls Drawing

Our girls love drawing. We supply them with all sorts of paper and markers and pencils and crayons, and they go to town. Seriously, they can burn through hours of daylight with their artistic endeavors.

Julia's skills have increased by leaps and bounds over the past month. Here is a sketch she did on one of our coveted Magna-Doodles. She's getting good, isn't she? I'm not sure who this girl is supposed to be, but she's got a pleasant smile. That bodes well, if I'm to read anything into it regarding Julia's psyche.

Kate's drawings nearly always abound with princesses and castles, or depictions of the family. Lately she has made some forays into new territories. Here we have a snap shot from her recent excursion into Monsterland. I'm thinking it's a goblin of some sort. She did well with the pointy ears, sharp fangs, and asymmetrical eyes. I, for one, would not like to meet this creature in a dark alley.

Genna tends to spurn the Magna-Doodle in favor of the more traditional medium of pencil on paper. This one is a bit faint, but you should be able to pick out what it is. It's just what Dr. Morea dreamed of--a human-animal hybrid. I don't think Genna has ever seen a centaur or any creature like it, so I'm not sure what triggered this drawing. But it's a female centaur, complete with flowing locks of blue hair and blue eyelashes. Maybe there's something to the Jungian Collective Unconscious, or Plato's forms...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ben's Belly Time

Little Ben, showing off his belly skills. Look at how well he can hold his head up! He can even manage a smile. That's multi-tasking people. He is a talented young man. I see a bright future for him. Especially with my constant goading, setting of unreachable goals, and helicopter-like parenting techniques.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of Algae, Barnacles, and Toys

We've found that if we leave any flat surface unattended and within reach of the girls, it will soon sprout toys, tea sets, Polly Pocket scenes, and mini bedrooms.

I was busy installing a ceiling fan in the spare bedroom and left my workbench alone for only 20 minutes. But that was long enough for me to find this (note the chair in the background, too)...

If you leave standing water in the sun, you'll soon have algae. Leave your boat floating in the water, and you'll have barnacles. Leave me alone with an extra-large pizza, and I'll soon gain a couple of pounds. Such is the case with our living room table, sofa, and love seat; they start growing their own little ecosystems. Kate is usually the culprit, though her sisters are both aiders and abettors (Sam tends to undo their work).

Below is a scene I came across a couple of nights ago after I tucked the girls in. The love seat became a bed with a baby teddy bear (I say baby, because he has a diaper rag beneath him, just like Ben whenever we lay him down on furniture), and the table is an impromptu market and kitchen. Add a toilet, and you pretty much have a fully functioning domicile/place of business

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Brothers

We've been very pleased at how well Sam has taken to Ben. Though he's been found guilty of a few eye pokings and stabs at Ben's head with Hot Wheels, we don't think he's had any malicious intentions. Yet. So far, it's been nothing but love and fascination. And we'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Ah, the time honored fraternal sharing of pacifiers, including the transmission all the koodies boys are able to harbor.

Here they are looking toward mommy. Sam is dismissing her with a goodbye wave, and Ben is looking for aid.

But Sam meant no harm. Here he is presenting his head for snuggling--Sam's version of a hug. Ben is still looking for assistance.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Of Huge Kisses and Blossoms

Annie has done quite a bit of baking lately. In particular, she has taking to modifying known cookies recipes. So far, each one has turned out very well (as attested to by my recent forays onto the scale).

Here is one of her concoctions. She took your standard peanut butter blossom, as seen on the left, and magnified it several times over, using an uber-kiss I had bought her for Christmas. She ended up with a mega peanut butter blossom that had to be eaten more like a cake than a cookie. No one minded. (For all you Pampered Chef fans, please note the well-seasoned stoneware bar pans).

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What I Missed in 2008 - Part 3 (Final)

The biggest event that happened in our lives was the arrival of Ben. I was with-it enough to document his arrival blog-wise, but I didn't do much of the actual pregnancy portion, which took up most of '08.

Annie and I see our photos as assets, to be used at a later day. Here we staged a guilt photo that we can pull out when Ben gets older. "Look at your mother! Here she is, driven to her knees while her womb is wracked with a contraction! And you want to sass her? How can you treat her like this?! HOW DARE YOU!" It's going to be beautiful.

Here I am performing my husbandly duty by holding up her burgeoning belly (she's just a couple weeks away from delivering Ben at this point). Further proof that I am a fantastic husband, father, and man.

I finally let Annie take a break from the photo shoot, and she retired to the shade and the comfort of the wicker chair. I thought the hibiscus here made for a nice compliment to her shirt. I'm also a fantastic photographer.

Actually, here's proof that I still have a lot to learn about photography. One of the maxims of taking a good photo is to pay attention to the background. For instance, when taking a sweet picture of your pregnant wife at the pumpkin patch, try to make sure that a red-headed child isn't trying to climb inside her head.

I still didn't catch onto the fact that children were climbing inside Annie's skull and kept on taking photos. You can see her expression begin to sour as another group of boys join the red head for a romp inside Annie's brain pan. So much to learn, little photographer.

There was one more addition to the clan that I need to mention. And here he is: Jack the Russian Desert Tortoise (just 'Jack' for short). He's been with us for only a few weeks longer than Ben. Jack is four years old, eats spring mix and dandelions, enjoys basking in the sun, and doesn't require diaper changes or being house broken. His shell and scales make him resilient to damage. He isn't capable of misbehaving, and he requires little interaction with his human overlords. We're trying to teach the children to be more like Jack.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What I Missed in 2008 - Part 2

I missed blogging on some of the little things. You know, things parents don't usually think to pay attention to. Things like your children's first day at school. I was there for it. I took time off work to see them off and take pictures. I just didn't share it. Once again, naughty blogger.

Kate and Genna were eager to be off, and here they are, hand-in-hand, wearing backpacks big enough to hold both their school work and their jet packs (which, we later found out, are prohibited on public campuses).

While staying with the Walkers, the girls (well, mainly Bob) planted sunflowers and watched them grow throughout the summer. I've heard that in ancient times, ninja would train by leaping over growing plants, so that every day their training would get harder as the plants grew. I tried doing this with my girls, but that only resulted in them almost getting impaled on those dangerous tomato frames.

(Please note the subtle Disney plug--Genna wearing a coveted Pocahontas dress)

Sam enjoyed his one year birthday at my folk's place. Here's the obligatory covered-in-cake shot. Though, frankly, I've seen worse. Much worse. I expect more of you, son!

But Sam made up for it by being bad elsewhere. And what's better, I didn't have to be there for it. Here's mama Jeanne restraining Sam while he got his first official haircut. It was a grueling ordeal, something akin to water boarding. Sam finally admitted to being Al Qaeda and even gave up the whereabouts of Osama's hidey hole. And he ended up with a slick haircut. (we'll be doing simple buzzes from here on).

I think Jeanne was happy to be part of Sam's torture because he had been such a nuisance around the house. It was her time to give Sam his comuppance. Here's one such instance of there almost daily conflicts. Sam has always been fascinated by dishwashers. They are usually full of shiny pokey things, the adults are always filling it, and they're low enough for him to climb on. Here's Jeanne faced with the prospect of having the bull break her fancy dishwasher. See the horror and rage on her face?

Friday, January 02, 2009

What I Missed in 2008 - Part 1

I was a naughty blogger in 2008. I was so negligent, that I missed a lot that I could have passed on. I'm now sifting through my oodles of photos from 2008 like a miner panning for gold, to bring you the nuggets that otherwise might have never seen the light of day...


This is one of Annie's favorite pictures of Sam. He's curled up on my folk's sofa on Easter Day and smiling at his mother like only an eight-month-old can.

Here are the girls all lined up during a birthday party. I have no idea whose birthday party it was, and I don't think it matters. I don't think they even knew. There are just so many girls running around that all the squealing and screaming and playing rolls into one big Squeal Fest. And of course, Julia has stripped down to something less than proper. We need to break her of that over the next few years.

While at Discovery Kingdom the kids were able to find a docile crocodile and climb aboard long enough for me to take this shot. Would you look at that. Everyone of them is smiling (Julia with her uber-smile). Sam isn't fighting it. It's a Discovery Kingdom miracle.

Here's Julia goofing off while we wait for the twins' swim lessons to start. She's easily entertained and quite entertaining. She's good to have on hand while you're waiting in line or sitting in traffic--you'll never get bored.

Annie wanted a nice photo taken of her and Julia in the pool (I think for Sam's birthday--but again, does it matter?). Karri had other plans. Click on the photo for a close up. Karri, how did you manage to give us a glimpse of that dangly thing at the back of your mouth? Thanks for the photobomb.