Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Morning 2008

Miss. Thang and The Dude had their preschool Halloween party this morning.  They were BEYOND excited.

Miss. Francis was nice enough to do The Dude's makeup for his Werewolf costume (you will see the too-scary-for-preschool mask tonight).    He got to his class and was practically running on all fours.

Miss. Thang was SO cute in her little Bears cheerleading outfit.  

Check them out....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boyz in the Hood

Here at Homebase things tend to get a little girlie from time-to-time.  We are constantly playing beauty shop, playing "school" and "family" and dressing up like princesses.  

The girls both outnumber and overpower the boys.

But the little men stick together.  And over the past few months, their numbers are looking a bit more promising.  

Now I am not saying that the pink and frills are going to become obsolete.  

But maybe there will be a little influx of G.I. Joe and dump trucks (mixed in for good measure).

The boys sure are fun to have around...

Numero 100!


This is my 100th post (whoot-whoot, *Rikki does the happy dance at her computer...although VERY quietly because all of the chitlins are sleeping*)!

When I started this blog in April, it was simply a quest to allow my parents in Canada to feel better connected to what was going on here.

It has grown (to my surprise) in to something even better.

I have met some new people that I would consider my blogger friends (Hi LiteralDan, Mrs.4444 and Xbox!).

I have developed serious blog crushes on Ree, Danny, Bossy and Crystal.

I have connected with people I know (or hope to meet) in real life.

I have delved deep into my memory banks to recollect stories of my toenail-biting brother, my giant-hearted grandpa and the rest of my crazy family.

I have posted, what seems like, thousands of pictures of the lovable munchkins that I have pleasure of caring for on a daily basis.

For every ounce of effort I have put in to my little slice of cyberspace, I have been rewarded ten-fold.

Thanks for reading! 


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dirty Humor

I saw these pictures here and knew that I had to use them on my own blog.  This is totally my sense of humor (if Starchy was writing this, he would say it is my Canadian side).

Happy Halloween (I thank the good Lord that this is not my ass)!

This one is entitled "Dickhead in the Pool".   Ba ha ha ha!

Monday, October 27, 2008

About that time-stopping machine...

This morning when I was greeting the kids as they got here, I was startled to see a new little boy in my midst (especially so, since I didn't know of any new kids coming to daycare).

After further inspection (that, and I recognized his mommy) I realized the little boy before me was Shmook.  

He is officially NOT a baby anymore.

Little man started daycare as The Drooler.  Although his personality is much the same (VERY observant, the kid doesn't miss a beat), he is no longer the little helpless baby he was 6 months ago.

He is now, the Shmook (or Shmookey, or Shmookester, depending on what child is taking to him).  Shmook can walk.  Shmook has teeth.  Shmook eats table foods.  And this little man, has his drooling situation all under control.  Such a cute little whipper-snapper.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Crew Cuts Vol. 6

We had a "glow-in-the-dark" day.  We painted our nails with glow nail polish, and after a good nap, we had a glow stick dance party.  It was like a G-rated rave in my basement.  The kids were in hog heaven.  Here is the picture I took with the flash on.

We have been talking all week about weather and the changing seasons.  We got the cold weather gear out and the kids loved playing dress up.  Sissy and Miss. Thang even went as far as to climb in the bin!

I had to help Shmook find an appropriate hat.  I think this Chicago Bears hat looks dashing on him, don't you? (Much better then the awful yellow and black Steelers colors). ;)

The kids, mid party! (without the flash!)

The Dude doing his best "homeless" impression.  Just kidding, he was just testing out the scarves and hats!

Swanny Jr. aka cutie pants!  Look at those rosy cheeks!  Love 'em!

AAGGHHH!  Miss. Thang practicing her best silly face.

The girls after we played beauty shop and they all had matching hairdo's.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grandpa Lessons Part 2

I think that the role my grandpa relished the most in his life was that of "grandpa".  I know that sounds weird and you might think "But, Rikki, he was a dad to his kids, and husband to his wife" but in my heart of hearts, I think being our grandpa was his numero uno.

I can only remember on time that he ever scolded me.  I was bossing Hemmy around and he said to me in a stern voice "Rikki, you are not his mother.  Please stop acting like it".  I was horrified.  I remember looking away so that he didn't see my eyes water and the redness in my cheeks.  But I learned my lesson.  I was never again bossy towards my brother (at least not in front of him!).

One of the greatest things about having him as my grandpa was how he was able to turn the mundane into something fun.  We were always going on little adventures with grandpa.  And he was VERY unconventional about our little escapades.

For instance, we had a cabin that was about a 90 minute drive from our hometown.  Now most adults would try to postpone potty breaks until about half-way into the trip.  Not grandpa.  We would get to the very outskirts of our town (about 5 minutes into the trip) and he would declare that we needed an ice cream break!  I kid you not.  My little heart would start beating real fast because I couldn't believe my good luck.  I didn't have to wait until we got to our destination for the fun to start, it began as soon as grandpa was around.

Then once we got to the cabin it was no holds barred.  We always had a playmate in grandpa (grandma too).  Golfing?  Biking?  Sandcastle building?  You bet!  He was up for it all.  Grandpa was never in a rush.  We were always able to enjoy the slower pace (not that he couldn't keep up if we did start going Mach 4...because he could).  Grandpa taught us that it was okay to enjoy life at a slower pace.  One of his favorite sayings was "We don't have to rush...we're retired!".

I remember one night at the cabin where Hemmy and I awoke to my grandpa asking us if we wanted to go for a midnight drive.  Like any kids who have permission to be out after dark we pounced on the opportunity.  The three of us slid in to the bench seat of his truck and drove down the country road in search of deer.  On the way to our destination grandpa kept taking off his glasses to clean them.  He kept commenting to us that he must have a really dirty pair of glasses because he couldn't see out of them.  He left it up to my brother and I to figure out the joke (that it was the filthy windshield, not his glasses) and we thought we were hilarious.  

When we finally got to the clearing where hundreds (I kid you not, this was rural Saskatchewan and they were everywhere) of deer were grazing, the three of us took in the scene.  We jabbered about the deer and grandpa's dirty windshield the entire way back to the cabin.  I will never forget that night.  Grandpa could have gone to bed.  But instead he took the time to do something special for us.  He was always doing stuff like that.

To be continued...

The Best Grandpa That Ever Was...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grandpa Lessons Part 1

It has been over a year since he has been gone, but there is not a day that goes by where he is not in my thoughts.  My grandpa had a profound impact on my life.  I feel like it is my responsibility to share his life lessons on my blog (no matter how many people read it).

I am not sure what brought this post on...but I am going to run with it.

My grandpa was narcoleptic.  

Every swimming (or any other sport attempted) race that either me or Hemmy swam in, my grandpa missed because he fell asleep.  

Especially if it was down to the wire.   

He just couldn't handle the excitement of seeing his favorite people race their hearts out.

But we NEVER...ever...swam a race with him in the building, without hearing my grandpa bellow out "GO...RIKKI...GO! "(or Hemmy if he was the one swimming) at the top of his lungs.

I am sure that there were swim meets (even in our competitive college years) that Hemmy and I can both attest to, where we were in the crouched starting position with a smile on our faces because we had just heard our grandpa's cheer.  

It was heartwarming.

My grandpa was a penny pincher.  But in a good way.  He was no Scrooge, rather the opposite.  

He was one of the most giving people I have ever met.  

But he had a knack for finding a bargain.  

Although I didn't realize it growing up, my grandpa instilled in me, the thrill of a sale.  I LOVE checking out at Target or J C Penney and seeing the "full price" versus what I really paid.  There is some sort of weird buzz in seeing how much money I DIDN'T pay.  

Along those same lines,  I am a garage sale snob.  

I will never forget, being pregnant with HP, The Dude was 15 months old, and going to visit my grandparents in Arizona.  

It was awesome because Grandma was more than happy to get up with The Dude at 6:00 AM while I slept in.  And Grandpa and I were able to go to garage sales (while my grandma showed her great-grandson off to all the other retirement village residents).  

My grandpa had very strict rules that governed over garage sale worthiness.  For instance, if a sale was sloppy, or had poor signage...forget it.  My grandpa wouldn't even grace you with his presence.  He was old school.  You had to take time and effort to set up your sale!  And if your prices were not competitive...look out.  My grandpa could dicker with the best of them.  You wanted $.25 for your old nappy picture frame?  My grandpa would offer $.10.  

He taught me that I should always seek out people/businesses that are willing to make their customers happy.

My grandpa was a maverick (and not in the lame John McCain sort of way).  He was the real deal.  

He taught me life lessons that only now, as a parent, I am starting to be able to appreciate.  

I hope that his life lessons can pay a testament to the time I was blessed to spend with him, while serving as a cyber-diary for my kids when they are grown and are curious about their family.

To be continued...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall F-U-N!

The following pictures were taken within 3 hours of each other.  I kid you not.  In our family, we like to cram as much fun as we can into our weekends!

HP eating her favorite lunch...chicken nuggets.  I tried to get her to dip carrots in her ranch dice.  At least she makes a good "funny face" at the table...right?

We went to a friends farm to ride their horses this afternoon.  Here is The Dude in all his mini horse glory!

Yes.  She is three and has already mastered the eye roll.  Oh, dear me...we are in for it.

The Dude concentrating on riding the horse (a regular sized one this time).  

I felt like this horse was saying to me "Yo!  Woman...make your self useful...git me an apple!".  He was rude.  All flashing his teeth at me and stuff...

HP and The Dude posing in the leaves.  Although I didn't notice it at the time, it took my breath away when I saw how grown up they looked once I had loaded this picture on my computer.  I REALLY need to invest in some sort of time-stopping machine...

This is their personalities to a "T".  The Dude kicking up a ruckus and HP flailing her self about!  They had a hoot with these fallen leaves!

HP playing in maple leaves.  All the kids at Homebase know that the Maple leaf is on the Canadian flag.  It is one of the added bonuses of having me as the childcare provider (because Canadian history is important...right?) ;).

Oh my...he is looking more like an almost-five-year-old every day.  Dag-nabbit! *Rikki runs away to holler at Starchy about buying the dang time machine*

We did "funny faces" at lunch.  This was The Dudes best effort!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Hemorrhoid Chronicles Part 3

Hemmy and I were 8 & 10.  

My grandparents had decided to take us on vacation with them.  We had enjoyed ourselves in the Canadian Rockies skiing and doing all sorts of other winter activities.  Our grandparents were so much fun to vacation with.  They let us do things our parents didn't (like hot chocolate WITH whip cream at BREAKFAST) and really spoiled us rotten.  But, after a few days with both Hemmy and myself, my grandparents must have needed a break.  

They sent us on a 4-hour glacier tour.

That's right, they put little Rikki and little Hemmy on a full-on bus tour, with the utmost trust that the tour guide would safely return us to them at the end of the day.  

We felt a combination of elation from being without any supervision, and utter fear...from being without any supervision.  

The tour started with a bus ride which was pretty uneventful.  Although my memory about the bus ride is a little foggy, I am sure that Hemmy checked out the bathroom.  Wherever we went he made sure he found time to check out the commode.  The kid always had to pee.

Once we had gotten to the base of the glacier, the tour guide informed us that this was as far as the bus could take us, and we were to get off the bus and wait for our next mode of transportation.  

What we got to ride on next was some sort of tank/snowmobile/bus hybrid.  It was huge.

Hemmy's eye's popped out of his head and I could tell he thought we were getting to ride on top of a transformer.  I had to pull on his shirt to prevent him from cutting to the front of the line.  

Our nice tour guide came up and asked us if either of us had to use the bathroom.  After assuring her that we didn't, we got to climb aboard the...beast.

I have to say that poor Hemmy's little heart was crushed once the beast started moving.  I think in his 8 year old brain, he was thinking that is was going to fly up the glacier.  Looking back, we could have strapped on a pair of golf spikes and made it up before the beast did.  It was SO slow.

After a 1/2 hour ride that took us up the glacier (I am sure it was more than this, but it felt like we had only travelled 50 ft) we were finally at the point where we could get off and walk on the glacier.  The last thing the tour guide said on the megaphone before the beast cleared out was "Ladies and gentleman, feel free to drink directly from the glacial streams, as it is the purest water in the world".

Hemmy and I took off like rockets, we were drinking the water, jumping across streams, basically blowing off the steam that came with being cooped up in a bus/beast for an hour.

After about 15 minutes, Hemmy's eyes started to get real big.  He started to do his notorious I-have-to-pee-dance.

We were the furthest people up on the glacier (which looking back, shame on the tour guide, some babysitter she proved to be) when Hemmy said he couldn't take it anymore.  

The kid, unzipped and let a rip.  

I remember him laughing for two reasons.  One, he thought it was funny that his pee made steam as it hit the glacier.  And two, he couldn't believe that he was peeing on the very same glacier that people were drinking from.

Nobody noticed a thing.

After making a pact not to tell, we sat with smug little grins the entire trip back to the welcoming arms of our grandparents.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flag Football

The Dude started Flag Football today.  

It was his first practice and he was stoked.  

They worked on throwing and catching.  

They worked on holding the ball and protecting it while you ran.  

But by far, The Dude's favorite part was the running...

Crew Cuts Vol. 5

Here is a mini version of Crew Cuts.  They are some of the best shots from the past few days...

Shmook is growing up right before our eyes.  He is taking steps on his own and loves his barbie walker.  He has also started to eat table foods.  This is his first attempt at eating cinnamon rolls (cut up in to pieces, of course).  I took his shirt off because he kept ripping his bib off (and I didn't want him to be a sticky mess the rest of the day).  He ate the entire plate full!

These three wanted to play beauty shop (hence the matching barrettes) and then do glamor shots.  I was only too happy to oblige.

Did you know that my brother's nasty habits can be passed on to children NOT in our immediate family?  Yep, Hemmy has apparently taught Sissy to use her mouth as a trimming tool (which is weird, since he is in British Columbia and she is in Illinois).  She went on like this for a good three minutes, finally I started to gag and had her quit.

Yes, those are rice krispies stuck to his face.  Yes, he gets so excited when he eats that I have to literally strap him in.  The kid LOVES his food!

The Dude woke up this morning and had two books on a pile on his bed.  He asked that I not touch them, because he wanted to make sure that he could pack them for Gramma D's and Grandpa Spencer's at Christmas time.  This has NOTHING to do with the picture (other than it was The Dude that said it) I just thought that my parents would like to know how unbelievably excited we are about coming home for Christmas!  :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Starchy plays for the Cowboys!?

HP saw this picture on the computer screen this morning (as I was reading about the Bears heartbreaking defeat).  

She stared at it and then proclaimed:  "Look, there's daddy!"

Me: "Where? (because the only image on the screen was Terrell Owens and I was confused)

HP:  "There, on your 'puter" (as she points her little finger directly to TO's forehead)

No joke.

She thinks Starchy has an uncanny resemblance to Terrell Owens.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crew Cuts Vol. 4

To get you all through the weekend!

Swanny Jr. the world's happiest baby.
HP...she has apparently inherited one of my brothers habits.
The gang.
Peanut at big rock.
The Dude is getting quite good at climbing trees.  Little monkey!
I thought this picture was very "Little Rascals" (appropriate at times!) ;).
These two came right up to me wile playing "What Time Is It Mrs. Fox?" (I ate them for lunch).
Bing-Bing has mastered the swing set outside!
Schmook is wondering what the heck the leaves are doing all over the yard.
The saddest picture ever.  She wanted what another child had.  The great thing about Peanut is that she is quick to get over things.  She was laughing less than a minute later.