Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gracing us with her presence for a whole year now

"Unwrapping gifts is a job for my slaves. Just show me when your done, please."
The emotional progression of having complete freedom with the birthday cake:
1) "What the . . . ?"
2) "Sticky? This is promising . . . "
3) "Wait for it . . . "
4) "Wo mama!"
Twas a long day for a girl of one year.

Gracie: I walk like Frankenstein's Monster after a long horse ride

Catching up: Halloween 2008

Hunting for the perfect, only mildly abused or malnourished, pumpkin at the Cider Mill in Lacey
There's never an inappropriate location for a heroic pose. "Soak it in turkeys!"
"Look, my lips are gone! Where did they go? Sorry, but I'm taking this secret to my grave."
"Isn't it splendid to be among the corn, brother?"
Award-worthy jacko-lanterns
unicorn + pegasus = pegacornasus (with a child's head protruding from its neck)
Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman
The two-headed pegacornasus descends from its mountain-top perch
With his left hand he links some of his web up with the nearest available skyscraper and with the right hand he shows genuine concern that jumping may have been a really bad idea.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The beach, the fair, crawling and kindergarten

Westport, WA

Grays Harbor County Fair - Elma, WA . . . yee ha!
1st day of kindergarten


Whew, it's only been 2 months since our last post. For a second I was thinking that we were really slacking. There are maybe a few things to mention that have happened in the last two months.

Maddie turned 5 on July 14th and we celebrated at the beach. By Maddie's decree this has become our new tradition for her B-day. Birthday=Beach.

The Shermerica clan paid us a visit in August and we took the kids to their first county fair - the Grays Harbor County Fair no less. This is another outing that is sure to be replicated on an annual basis. There were no down-sides for the kids other than having to eventually leave. Food was good, rides were good, animals also good and horses very good (I think they might also fit in the animal category). The equestrian events were particularly entertaining. Not so much for the fancy footwork provided by horse and rider, mainly it was to observe the excitement of Madelyn, Ezra and Eli. We sat down in the little . . . barn? (anyways, it was indoors with bleachers and lots of dirt for the horses to frolick on) It was pretty quiet except for the sound of the horses grunting and galloping and three children screaming at the top of their lungs, "GO HORSEY! YOU CAN DO IT!" -repeated for the duration of our stay. Not sure it helped any of the riders, but it definitely might have contributed to the failures of a few. We'll never know for sure.

Gracie started crawling right about fair time - and now she won't stop. It's always exciting when your kids reach a milestone . . . for one or two minutes. Now we're all in a constant state of fear of course. Our floor is never clean enough for our now independently moving baby-hoover.

Maddie is now officially a kindergartner. She started school two weeks ago. We're still in shock that we've reached this point. Babies grow fast. She is even taking the school bus. There haven't been too many worries about Madelyn's ability to adjust to this new scene. She's a people-person. Last week she got sick and we had to keep her home. Believe me, if we didn't care about other people we would have just let her go because it was not a pleasant prospect to try to convince Maddie that she had to stay home from school. "I'm okay . . .cough cough, I'm not sick . . . barf." At least she's committed. Eli is starting preschool this week. This is the kid we're a little worried about. Eli is not the people-person his big sister is. This is one of many reasons I'm glad I'm not the mom. God-speed Connie.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Big sis', little sis'

Maddie loves her baby sister. In fact, we often have to be on smother alert because there is sometimes an excess of sisterly love. Now that Gracie can roll, that's about all she wants to do once we put her on the ground - and she covers a lot of ground using all that tummy momentum. Well, our two girls are often inseparable, as is evidenced by the above video clip. We at least appreciate that Maddie is such a good sport about having clumps of hair yanked from her scalp and having her face thoroughly slobbered and gummed. After all, Gracie is in a stage where she perceives the rest of us to be her giant servants; on-call 24 hours to provide food, transportation, entertainment and food. She doesn't use words yet, but she can get her point across. Screaming works well. Sometimes, though, if we just aren't getting it she will attempt to eat our faces. Maddie thinks it's funny now, but it won't be long before those little gums sprout teeth. Who will be laughing then?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A fine day for a wedding

Well, this entry is a few weeks overdue, but just getting to it is an accomplishment in my book. We had an eventful trip to Benton City early this month. Pamela (my baby sister) went and got herself married (picture above . . . they're the ones looking like a bride and groom). It was a lovely event - a decent reason for the whole family to get together. The top picture is of Maddie, Eli and one of their favorite cousins, Ezra - he's not afraid of pigs (this will make sense if you read on). Then we have pictures of the newly weds. And lastly, my gorgeous wife. . . and a chubby little hand. Connie adores impromptu pictures of herself.

Todd (Pam's new hubby) has now entered territory that I am very familiar with - the land of "I am the only male in the family not related by blood." For those of you who don't know, my dear wife, just as my sister, is the only girl in her family. I was thinking that Todd and I should probably form our own exclusive club since each lack a fellow brothers-in-law support group within which we can share secret glances when members of our newly inherited families do or say things that may be common place within the walls of that home, but would actually be considered borderline crazy by outsiders. I'm totally kidding of course, because my in-laws are the greatest. And I could get beat up by up to five McBride brothers if I'm not careful. And then, of course, Todd has the problem that I happen to be part of Pam's family and so divulging to much about his impressions of the Beuses could result in . . . well, let's just scrap this one. Sorry you just read all that. That was an unproductive tangent that I could have erased, but I didn't because this is my blog and I choose to keep it raw and uncensored.

There were some other fun moments during our trip to the mother-country. I was able to get in some classic Beus Bro and Daddio tennis and ping pong. All doubles all the time - and sometimes competitive (and mostly victories coming from my side of the net, or table as it were . . . look, Jer and Dad, it's my blog; it's my vision of the world). Connie took the kids to a farm. I'm afraid that this proved that we either don't get out enough, or there is something secretly terrifying about pigs that my children have identified but is somehow lost on the rest of humanity. I'm pretty sure that Maddie didn't set foot on the farm's soil even once. Grandpa McBride became her strangle victim as she clung to him for dear life per chance the devil-pigs might leap from their pens and devour her. And then there was that morning that I took one for the team in an effort to extend our vacation a little. It was no big deal, but I almost died, was resussitated, and then spent a few days in quarentine at Kadlec Medical Center. Alright, so I'm pretty sure that I didn't almost die, but I had a bad morning and did end up in the hospital for a few days. And the quarentine was just precautionary - in case I had tuberculosis. But I'm better now, and we scored a longer vacation. Hurray for Dad!

Three hours into our drive home it dawned on Maddie that we had left Gramma's house. Not cool, Mom and Dad. So not cool.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Hot Day for May

This video was taken on May 17th - an unfairly hot day for this part of the country. And for the record, when you live in the Puget Sound region it's perfectly legitimate to be a pansy about warm weather. The kids, of course, thought it was swell. But they got to run around half-naked and frolic in an inflatable blue creature with water in it. And who wouldn't enjoy that?

A side-note about our little man, Eli. We tried to get him to wear swim trunks but he freaked out because he didn't want his shorts to get wet. I know, right? We tried to explain the purpose and mechanics behind swimwear, but he is so unreasonable for a three year old. And now we have video of him wearing nothing but a Finding Nemo swim-diaper for the whole world to see. Come to think of it, Maddie might not look back with fondness at a video that captures her hopping up and down madly in a kiddie pool; scowling and growling with a pirate-hook on one hand.