Monday, June 30, 2008

Starchy The Corkmeister

Seven years ago today, Starchy and I were married.  

I love you Starchy and am very proud of the life we have together.

I was going to post a handsome picture of you, but couldn't find one, as you are always making Cork-like faces.  Serves you right.



Happy Birthday Hemmy

Hemmy is the ripe old age of 28 today!  My parents are out in British Columbia visiting with him and Chipmunk.  I hope you guys are having fun!

In honor of Hemmy's birthday I thought I would share a little story with you all.

When Hemmy and I were growing up, he had plenty of gross little habits (milk slurping, fart cupping, belch blowing) but none was more repulsive then his method for clipping his toenails.  Instead of using a clipper, like a normal human being, Hemmy used his mouth.  Yes, you read that right, he used to BITE his toenails off.  Usually, if I was in striking distance, one the toenail was disconnected, he would spit it at me.  I still cringe at the thought of being pelted in the forehead with my brother's rhino toenails.  

Since we haven't lived together in 12 years, I had assumed that he had grown out of this habit.

I thought wrong.

Below is an email I got from Chipmunk this very week...

Heading:  Your brother is gross!

Funny story that I thought you might enjoy (or just be disgusted knowing).  We had a ceiling fan installed yesterday (thanks to your wonderful parents!), so we had to move the couch and pull up the rug.  When I went to clean up after and move everything back to where it was, I had to get out the vacuum, because there were at least 15 chewed toenails under the couch and rug, courtesy of your brother, who drinks beer, watches TV and chews his toenails - in his mouth. GROSS!

Hope that painted a pretty picture for you!

Chipmunk XOXO

Chipmunk is a brave, brave girl.  

Happy Birthday Hemmy, I love you to bits and pieces (and I promise to get you an industrial strength toenail clipper for Christmas)!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Dude does Dress-Up

We have a pretty wide range of dress-up clothes here at Homebase.  It is one of The Crew's favorite things to do each day.  The girls tend to play it safe and stick to the princess attire.  The Dude on the other hand, has come up with some pretty wild combinations.

Outfit #1- Marilyn Munroe wig, Jack Sparrow headband, Lion costume, Spider-Man glove and a guitar.  As you can tell by his pose, he thinks he's all that and a bag of marbles!

Outfit #2- Gladiator helmet, traffic headphones (on his neck), Mardi Gras beads, Spider-man knee pads and Hot Wheels slippers!  

Drooler in Black & White

I have been having fun learning about, and toying with my camera lately.  I am very new to photography, but am noticing a drastic improvement in the quality of my photo's when I set the right lighting.  

Since The Drooler woke up an hour ahead of the rest of the crew yesterday, we did an impromptu photo shoot.  Its easy to take good shots when you have such a willing model!

Enjoy, (especially my cronies in the UK)!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Hemorrhoid Chronicles Part 2

Since Hemmy's 28th birthday is a mere 4 days away, I thought I would continue on the get-to-know-Hemmy path.

Hemmy is a tall mother-flogger.  He is 6'8" on a bad day and is a solid as a brick-shit house (one of my dad's favorite terms).  So you can imagine that he can be a pretty intimidating person, especially when you meet him for the first time.

Starchy and I started dating our first week of college.  We were pretty much inseparable for our entire Freshman year.  Since his hometown was only a five hour drive (compared to 24 hours to get to mine) I went home with him for holidays and long-weekends.

At the end of Freshman year, Starchy and I decided it was high time for him to come home with me.  We recruited another college swimmer friend, Big Bear, to come with us so that Starchy had someone to ride back with him (Starchy and Big Bear were staying for a week and I was flying back at the end of the Summer).  The ride from Illinois to Saskatchewan was uneventful.  Starchy still gives me crap to this day that I was useless and spent more time sleeping than awake.  Whatever.

We finally made it home safe and sound.  My parents were there to greet us but Hemmy was no where to be found.  My mom informed us that he was out with friends, but would see us in the morning.  We visited for a while and then called it a night.

The next morning, Starchy, Big Bear and I were hanging out in my parents basement.  We were plotting how to take full advantage of the 19 year old Saskatchewan drinking age, when Hemmy walked in.  

Now, my brother has never been OVERLY protective.  But he didn't know Starchy from Adam, and was hell bent on trying to intimidate him.  He barreled down the stairs, taking two at a time, when he got to the bottom of the stairs, he bellowed "WHERE IS HE?" as loud and as menacing as he could.  

I'm pretty sure I saw Starchy's butt-pucker through his triple-starched jeans.

Although he put up a good front and went straight up to Hemmy and gave him a manly handshake, I could tell that Starchy wasn't at all prepared for meeting my beast of a brother.

Thankfully, Hemmy dropped the tough guy act, and Starchy, Big Bear and Hemmy, went on to enjoy the rest of the trip hanging out with one another (and pretty much casting me by the wayside).

I wouldn't say that Hemmy and Starchy are BFF's, but they are close.  When we get together, they swap stories and act like cornballs together(all while ignoring Chipmunk and I, but we prefer it that way).  It is a great feeling knowing that two of my favorite men (in addition to my dad, my father-in-law, and my Grandpa) get along so well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Hemorrhoid Chronicles Part 1

Why hemorrhoid you ask?  Because this is about my brother, and he has always been a real pain in my a$$!

Hemmy (I gotta shorten it, but you know the real meaning behind the nickname) and I grew up in the water.  We both took swimming lessons from a very young age and I can honestly say, we took to it pretty naturally.  It was a pretty natural progression to go from swim lessons to swim team, and that's exactly what we did.  I started competitive swimming when I was eight, Hemmy followed a year later.  

Swimming is a great sport, I was just commenting to Peanut's mom the other day that you rarely get injured, you are always clean, and your hair gets nice and shiny!  Hemmy and I really did LOVE swimming.

We had been training and competing for a few years.  Meets were once or twice a month and usually (at least in the early years) within driving distance.  

This particular meet was in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan.  Hemmy was 11 and I was almost 13.  About midway through the meet Hemmy was getting ready for a race.  The dutiful, responsible, loving sister that I was, I parked myself behind his lane so that I could cheer him on.  Hemmy takes off his sweatpants and puts his goggles on his forehead.  As the referee is blowing the whistle to signal the swimmers to get on the blocks I notice something is terribly wrong. 

Hemmy has to pee.

Poor guy was standing on the blocks quivering in his Speedo's willing himself not to pee.  He couldn't hold it any longer.  The pee starts to trickle slowly down his leg.  My mom, who was across the pool in the stands, gets the bright idea to jump up, point at me, and in a megaphone voice says "RIKKI, GET YOUR BROTHER A CUP TO PEE IN!".  

At this point, Hemmy has all but emptied his bladder, the parent responsible for starting the races decides to finally shoot off the gun and Hemmy finally gets to dive away from his predicament.

And I am left there.  Red faced.  The sister of the boy who just peed himself on the starting block.  The daughter of the crazy lady who decided it would be a good idea to have her son PEE IN A CUP!

Hemmy came away unscathed.  He has always had confidence and charisma and was able to laugh about the entire ordeal.  Lucky bastard.

But whenever we are together we make sure to gang up on my mom and give her shit about her quick thinking "GET HIM A CUP" across a 50 meter pool.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How we keep cool at Homebase...

The mercury is rising and with it, the kids and I are coming up with additional ways to keep cool.  Today we filled the blowup pool and the kids created their own fun.  When Starchy came home I did a double take (no, not because his jeans were ironed and triple-starched, I'm used to that) because the day literally flied by!  You know what they say...time flies when you're havin' fun!

Miss. Thang and The Dude thought it was SO much fun to make waves (by pushing on the side of the pool) and run through it.  Here is Miss. Thang taking her turn.

Sissy, "helping" to make waves.

The Dude hamming it up for the camera!  Such a cheeseball.

Don't you just love The Drooler's hat?  What a fashion plate.  And those cheeks, I could just eat them up!

Sissy, squatting behind the pool.  Anyone guess what she was doing?  :)

Miss. Thang, drama queen! 

Look at those baby blues.  This girl is so dang cute.  And she cannot help herself, if she does see the camera, she strikes a pose!

Sissy was cracking herself up!  She was hooting and clapping...its so much fun to catch the kids in candid moments!

Miss. Thang was so cold after swimming all morning.  I finally MADE her sit with a towel for a minute and was greeted with this expression...never get between her and the pool!

The Dude was getting tired and started to stare off into the clouds as I snapped this picture.

Friday, June 20, 2008

For My UK Peeps!

Here are some photo's of your beloved Drooler!  His mum and dad are doing such a wonderful job with him.  He is just the sweetest thing in the world.  I have been working with him on crawling and today we practiced getting on our knees.  See for yourself...

At this point I got him set up and he looked at me as if to say "What do you think your doing?".

But after cooing at him and repeating "Who's a big boy?" in my baby talk voice, I got this grin out of him!

He started to set his sights on a toy just ahead of him.  Such determination in his face!

I think at this point he was wondering how to get out of the predicament that I put him in! 

He has been extra drooley (is drooley a word?) these past few days at daycare.  At least he is living up to his name! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day o' Fun!

The Crew and I had a fantastic day today!  Starchy was nice enough to bust out the water slide before work this morning, and we took full advantage!  Peanut and HP both went down (not exaggerating) at least 20 times (maybe that's why they are still napping 3 1/2 hours later?).  They had a hoot!  Sissy loved the pool portion of the water slide and charmed all of the neighborhood kids with her cuteness.  And The Drooler, well he was VERY happy to sit and watch his friends.  Whenever one of the girls would go down the slide he would flail his arms all about as if to say "do it again!".  Good times!

His Royal Cuteness!

Peanut splashing around in the pool, looks like those swim lessons are paying off.! :)

More of her mad swimming skills! 

They little turkey's were trying to get rid of me and the camera.  Don't they know my camera is waterproof!?  *evil laugh*  Muuhaaw!

HP striking a pose!
Look at 'em go!  This was their first try up the wall.  No problem for these two!

HP going down the slide all while trying to avoid getting wet.  It didn't work out the way she planned!

Peanut after one of her many trips down the slide!

Is this not one of the cutest pictures you have ever seen?  This puppy is definitely frame worthy!

Sissy cannot help herself.  She finds the busiest spot on the entire water slide and sets up camp there.  Never one to miss out on the action!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birthday Wishes!

I know, I know...I am pretty much saturating my blog with a bunch of birthday posts...but June is a big month for my family.

That said.

Dad, Happy Freaking Birthday!  I have already called and left you an annoying rendition of Happy Birthday on your answering machine (complete with a wicked cackle when I realize how old you are)!  You are old, but you wouldn't really know it by looking at you.  Yeah, sure, you have a few wrinkles and some grey hair, but at least you don't look like Randy, or worse, Grandma (HA!  Whatev, she never reads the blog anyways).   Love you!

My brother's girlfriend, aka, Chipmunk.  I hope to God, that my brother makes an honest woman out of you soon!  Tell that big brat to put a damn ring on your finger...tell him I told him so.  All jokes aside (not that proposing is a joke), I hope you have a truly kickin' birthday!  We cannot wait to see you in December and tear into our Super Colossal's with you!  Wish we could be there to toast a cold one to your special day.

Much Love,

HP's Birthday Part II

HP's birthday was a blast!

We had a small party with friends (who had little kids) in the morning, and in the afternoon had family over.  We got to talk with Gramma D and Grandpa Spencer on ichat so that they could sing HP "Happy Birthday" and be included in the festivities!  

Like I said in my previous posts, HP was spoiled rotten.  As you can see from the pictures, she was the belle of the ball.  

I was pretty proud of the way she handled herself on her big day.  Starchy and I had been prepping her for weeks that when she turned three she had to give up her "binky".  HP had so much fun and was totally exhausted when it came time for her nap.  Typically she would fall asleep with her Butchie (silky blanket) and her binky, so when it came time to go to sleep without the bink, I assumed all hell would break loose.  I was wrong.  This is not to say there wasn't a few protests and more than a few tears, but after praising what a "big girl" she was, HP fell into a binky-less sleep.  

Once she woke up (4 hours later!) it was time for phase two of the party.  She first got her awesome cowboy boots from Gramma D and Grandpa Spencer (which she proudly wore as the night went on, bragging to everyone that her "boots lit up").  She then spent the rest of the night getting spoiled by friends, family and even our neighbor Dave.

Here is HP with her shiny new bike from Aunt Nina and Uncle Brina!

Can you guess what she is telling me in this picture!  Ha!  What an evil mom I am!

The Dude's nose was a little out of joint, but he did have a little shining moment when he got to show off his mad biking skills!

HP and the water slide!

What a Corky Romano!  She got these "swim glasses" from Gramma D and Grandpa Spencer in a care package the week before.  HP doesn't care that they are upside down, she just wanted to wear them in the pool (versus the bathtub).

HP and The Dude sharing some cake.  I should note at this point that my princess cake was a complete failure.  To quote Starchy (the smart ass) it looked like a pink version of Abraham Lincoln's hat.

The top hat cake.

HP and her friend LT (short for Little Tom, not his real name).  They were born 6 days apart and have been buddies ever since!

HP on her new ride (a gift from Yamma and Papa).

The Dude flying down the water slide!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

HP's Third Birthday, Part 1

HP had her third (OMG) birthday this past weekend.  It was a gorgeous day and she was spoiled plum rotten!  Starchy and I purchased this water slide for her (and let's be honest, The Dude as well) and they absolutely LOVED it!

I took some video off of my camera.  Not the best quality, but you get the idea of how big this thing is and how much fun the kids are having.  More to come about HP's Birthday in another post!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

This picture pretty much sums up what I LOVE about my dad.  It was taken two years ago when my parents spent Christmas with us.  My dad is a fun, generous, loving person.  He has no problem putting a ridiculous wig on his head because he loves to make his family smile.  

My dad has a great laugh that just shoots out of nowhere.  He can be stone faced one minute and the next slapping his knee and trying not to knock over his coffee because he is laughing so hard.  It is infectious.  I challenge you to hear it and not find yourself joining in and cracking a smile. 

There is never a dull moment when my dad is around.  He can strike up conversation with anyone, anywhere.  He has friends in the coffee shop, at the local garage, at my mom's work...all his local hangouts.  I used to think it was odd that my dad would have actual conversations with people while in line at the grocery store, now I find myself doing the same thing.  

Nothing gets my dad down.  He has survived a horrific car accident (complete with broken ribs, broken  shoulder, collapsed lung and major head injury).  He lives with MS, although I have never, EVER, heard him complain or feel sorry for himself.  

My dad is the poster child for finding joy in everyday things.  

Happy Father's Day Dad, I love you VERY much.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Dude Takes on T-Ball!

Starchy and I recently decided that it was high time for The Dude to start taking part in some organized activities.  The options are a bit limited (especially for 4 year-olds) but I saw in the City Rec. brochure, that t-ball was open to kids 4 and up.  We have practiced a bit with the t-ball set The Dude got for Easter, but there was a steep learning curve when it came time for The Dude to actually play a game!

Look at the outfit!  The Cardinals (The Dude's team name) have some bad ass uniforms eh?  Don't mind the swim shirt underneath, The Dude insisted on wearing it, claiming it would help him keep cool.

"Is this where I'm supposed to stand?"

"Oooh, if I kick the dirt around I can make a little pile!"

The Dude didn't quite "get" the whole running-t0-the-bases thing.  After hitting his first ball he made a bee-line for the pitchers mound until his coaches helped him get to first base.

This is his second at bat.  He did a heck of a job hitting the ball (and not the tee) but this time took off for third base until his coaches steered him to first!

"I wonder if I can bat with my helmet on backwards?

"They made me turn my helmet around, and now I am going to WHACK this ball!"

"Whoo-hoo, I got to the right spot...third time's a charm!"

"You want me to do what?  Put my hand up...huh?"

"Oh...I get it!"