Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009 with Hemmy

My brother got here on Christmas Eve. It has been 3 years since I last saw him. To say that our visit has been wonderful, is an understatement. Seeing my baby brother interact and play with my kids is the best gift I could have asked for this year. It has been one for the books.

The kids woke up right before 7:00 on Christmas morning. We spent the next 3 hours opening gifts. We would have been done a lot sooner (especially if HP had anything to do with it) but The Dude wanted to inspect and try out each and every gift. He had opened his stocking and present from Santa and was already raring to go outside. I guess he figured the other presents could wait (HP did NOT think that was cool).

It was a great morning filled with memories I will treasure until the day I die. But as always, I will let the pictures do the talking...

Here is The Dude with his trick bike he got from Santa (and helmet he got from GG...good call GG). He was ripping around the driveway like a bat out of hell. It was hilarious!

Figuring out the knee and elbow pads. At first I thought they would be unnecessary (but held my tongue because he was so excited about them). After seeing him whiz around on the bike...they are a really good call.

As was the case last Christmas the favorite stocking stuffer was balloon rockets and a pump. The cheaper the gift, the more they like it! :)
HP checking out her stocking. We had to wake her up and you can tell she is not really herself in this picture. A rare shot taken before she got her glasses on.
The Dude inspecting the colossal stocking!

Our "treats" for Santa. Beer, Milk, candy cane, cookies, crackers and shrimp dip!

The stockings were hung...Hemmy got a tube sock stocking. Keepin' it classy!

The Dude hanging his uncles stocking with care.
One of the many staring contests that have taken place in the last 72 hours! The Dude is surprisingly competitive and has won his fair share!
The. Best. Gift. Ever.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crew Cuts Vol. 10

Lots of fun things have been happening around Homebase. The kids are in full holiday mode. We have had plenty of birthdays in December (The Dude, Ms. Frances, Shmook, myself). It has been an awesome month. Here are a few photo's (taken with my spiffy new camera).

Lil' Rick enjoying one of Shmook's homemade cupcakes.

The Dude playing outside in our first "real" snow of the year.

HP crying because she didn't want to take a nap. She kept saying "I'm not tired mommy!"...yeah right.

My little shoveling helper.

Swanny Jr. enjoying a cupcake!

Shmook in a moment of contemplation before eating his 2 year-old birthday treat. Isn't he getting big?

Hp being HP.

Lil' Rick all bundled up at the top of the "castle".

HP and Peanut...the best of friends.
Lil' Rick really enjoyed the snow. He didn't stop smiling the entire time we were outside.
Peanut is probably the hardest child to get a picture of. She is a last-second-blinker and (like most 4 year-olds) she is not one to stay still. Luckily, I was able to snap this good one while playing outside yesterday. As her mom would say "Its a framer!".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He Still Believes...

As you all know, The Dude is now attending public school. There are a lot of things he has learned over the past few months that are a direct result of him interacting with whole new group of kids. He has pushed boundaries with the eye roll (it did NOT fly). He has given a go at sarcasm and backtalk (again, a major flop). But for the most part, he has stayed true to his happy little self.

We were snuggling on the couch the other night when the following conversation took place:

Dude: "Mom, can I ask you a question?"

Me: "Sure Dude, what's up?"

Dude: "Well...a couple of kids on the bus said that there was no Santa Claus. They said it was just our moms and that true?"

Me (trying to choke down the enormous lump in my throat, while feigning shock): "No! No way man. I mean...mommy and daddy wrap and buy Christmas presents for you and know that...but Santa, he is the one that brings you something special on Christmas Eve and fills your stockings."

Dude (pondering for a moment): "I knew it...I knew there was no way you and Daddy could make it to the North Pole and back in one night."

I am SO glad he believes for another year. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update Dec 2009 & Resolution

Dear Lord. Where to begin?

I am sorry for being such a blog-slacker. My reasons are lame. My biggest road block was that I no longer had the cord that connected my camera to my computer. My posts are always picture heavy and I guess I didn't know what else to do. Boo Hoo right?

I have made a resolution for 2010 that I will do AT LEAST one post a week. *I think I can hear my mom and grandma clapping...weird*

Okay, how about I update you what has been going on with the family lately (daycare update in a upcoming post)?

The kids are wonderful. The Dude is rounding out his first year in Kindergarten. He is LOVING it. The amount of knowledge he is learning has astounded me. He went in to the school year knowing the letters of the alphabet, but not knowing the sounds of the letters. Four months later, he is able to string sounds together and read simple words. The best part about it is that he really gets a kick out of the challenge of trying to read. He is so eager to learn.

HP hasn't changed much. She is still sassy as ever and thinks that her way is the only way! She loves spending time with Peanut and I am dreading the day when these two are going to go their separate ways. They have found a sister in each other and spend every moment they can playing "house" and "honey" and "sweetie" (their own version of games). HP tried soccer this fall and she could not have cared less about the game. She liked the fact that there were other kids there to play with and that we usually got McDonald's breakfast before her game. :)

Starchy is doing great. He survived a very long, very stressful teachers strike in Oct/Nov. Just when I thought I was going to have to get him on some Xanex, they came to a resolution. I would not wish a strike on my worst enemy. It was awful. Thankfully, he has been able to get back in to the swing of things. He has just started a marathon training program which he is very excited about. He will be running the St. Louis marathon in the spring.

A lot has changed for me over the past 6 months as well. I started a weight loss journey back in March (weight watchers) and have managed to lose almost 50 lbs. I have combined sensible (most of the time) eating, with 5-time-a-week workouts. It has been slow, but thankfully, steady. I have another 25 lbs to go before I reach my goal. I hope to do so by March 2010.

Enough of the blah, blah, blah's. I recently got a new camera (yay!) for my birthday and FINALLY have some new pictures to share.

Without further adieu...

This was taken the first night I got my new camera. I love the expression on The Dude's face. No idea what they are doing though.

The Dude right before he blew out his candles on his 6th....yes, 6th birthday cake! His eyes tell it all.

The Dude chose to have his birthday party at a local gymnastics academy and it was a hoot! 17 kids between the ages of 3-7 and all went off without a hitch. Here he is giving a go at the rope climb.

It was hard to get his picture because he never stopped moving! :)
On one of the two trampolines. The kid was sweating by the time our 2 hours was up.

HP and her buddy Peanut. They had just finished making a project when this picture was taken, hence the marker on the face.

Bath time! I love this one because you rarely get to see her without glasses. She is also sporting her new favorite hairstyle that she has dubbed "cinnamon twisties".

Got to start 'em swimming young. So what if it is a bathtub! :)

This was taken at Yamma and Poppa's house on my birthday. HP was taking everyone's order. Her costume is one of her Aunt Nina's old dance recital costumes!

This is what happens to poker straight hair after the cinnamon twisties come out for the day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

First day of Kindergarten (and the poem I was given)

The First Day

I gave you a little wink and smile

As you entered my room today.

For I know how hard it is to leave

And know your child must stay.

You've been with him for five years now

And have been a loving guide,

But now, alas, the time has come

To leave him at my side.

Just know that as you drive away

And tears down your cheeks may flow

I'll love him as I would my own

And help him learn and grow.

For as a parent, I too know

How quickly the years do pass

And that one day soon it will be my turn

To take my child to class.

So please put your mind at ease

And cry those tears no more

For I will love him and take him in

When you leave him at my door.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Need Prayers

One of my college roommates and teammates needs our help.  

Bethany is a new mom with beautiful triplets (yes, three!).  The bigger two, George and Olivia are thriving and at home.  

The smallest of the bunch, Samuel, is fighting for his life.  

Bethany does a great job explaining what is going on here.

Please keep little Samuel in your thoughts.  My friend needs a miracle.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Caymans Post...I Promise.

The wedding madness is dying down and I am now going through a sea of pictures.  We had the Ottawa reception this past weekend and it was wonderful.  The best part for me, was watching the kids as they saw their friends from the Caymans.  Each couple who walked into the boat club was greeted my a very enthusiastic HP and The Dude.  The friendships each of them has made over the past month is definitely one of the best byproducts of being in Nina's wedding.

Now, for the last batch of pictures...

HP and Starchy building a giant hole.  Not sure who had more fun!

Here is Starchmeister after the wedding.  This was taken by Peter, the professional wedding photographer.

Another one of Peter's.  Each side of the family.

The Corky family out to eat.  I remember this restaurant not for the gorgeous view, but for the kick ass grilled mahi-mahi sandwiches.  They were to die for (and I am a loser).

The Dude (and Starchy's ass...ha ha ha...whatever, he never reads my blog).

Squishing in the back of our rental car that smelled like stale bread and cat pee.  Good times!

Oh la-la.  Starchy and I all fancy.

HP and The Dude walking down the dock.

Pausing like good little girls and boys to get their picture taken.  I love, love, love this one.

Even though he was dressed up, he was still 100% boy.

Getting his pep talk from Starchy about how to hold the ring pillow and walk at the same time (Peter's pictures from here on out).

Getting fancy-girl hair.  
In these two last ones you can totally see the lagoon that the lanai's look out to.  The lagoon is surrounded by homes (in a horseshoe shape) which were all rented by the wedding guests.  It was a wild and crazy time!