Sunday, August 31, 2008

This face!

This is the look HP gives when she doesn't get her way.  I can't believe I got it on camera.

She whips it out when in an attempt to make us feel sorry for her.  

I can honestly say that it works.  

I have never seen such a pathetic little expression in my life.

Friday, August 29, 2008

HP & The Dude

My two punks are walking around the house lately like they are "all that and a bag of marbles". 
You see, they start preschool next week.  

We went to the Open House on Monday and it was so neat to see the contrasts in their personalities.  

HP is in the 3 year old class, and she strutted down the hallway towards her classroom like it was nobodies business. 

Both her and Peanut are in the same class and although they had recently seen each other, they clung together like long-lost friends.  The girls went from the play dough table to the coloring sheet table and back again in a span of 30 seconds all while not straying more than one foot from each other.  

HP had no qualms about meeting her teacher and I said a silent prayer of thanks, that she wasn't the kid clinging to her dad with a death grip, screaming like a screech owl as he tried in vain to get her to interact with the other kids (I know, my time will come, I was just thankful that HP was so well adjusted THIS time).

The Dude had his head on a swivel.  He was grinning from ear to ear when he saw his class.  The teacher was trying to talk to him, but he had zero interest on listening to what she had to say. There were toys to inspect and cubbies to sit in and windows to look out of...he was in hog heaven.  

The thing that excited him the most was the gymnasium (preschool is in a YMCA).  I finally got him to interact with his teacher by having her provide the answer as to whether or not The Dude would get to run around the gym (of course the answer was a resounding "yes").

Part of me has a heavy heart as I see my kids going off to do activities without me.  After all, I have been with them consistently since they were born.  

I know it will be good for them.  

I know it will be good for me.  

I just can't get the dang lump out of my throat.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

White Wedding Part Deux

Since yesterday's post, I have been inundated (whoo, big word!) with emails from former teammates and other MU swimmer cronies requesting more pictures from the wedding last weekend.   That, plus I know my mom LOVES to snoop and check out all of the wedding hoopla, made me want to post additional pics.  

I apologize to my readers who are not Mizzou swimming alumni, this may be boring.  Be strong, it will pass... :)

Here is the wedding party in its entirety.  The bridesmaids had nice black dresses, that complimented a variety of figures (one girl was 4 months pregnant!).  

The cutie-patootie flower girl.  She did a bang up job!

Wine bottles from the rehearsal dinner.  Cute eh?  Notice the chocolates on the table in the background.  They also had Shane and Jenny's picture on it...a nice personal touch.

Starchmeister and I in the hotel before the madness...I mean...our friends arrived.

Mike C, Dirty Dane and Starchy.  Both of these guys came in a day before the rehearsal to spend time with us and the kids.  Dane helped me with the kids at daycare giving horsey rides and playing catch for (what probably seemed to him) hours on end.  We love these guys.

Starchy attempting to scare me into putting my camera away.  Obviously it was fruitless.

Andy and his wife Amy.  Amy is a sister of an MU swimmer (hi Ellen!) and was a blast to hang out with as we watched our husbands fulfill their groomsmen duties!

Brady and his girlfriend Rachel.  

Pardon the crappy picture, but they didn't allow flash photography in the church.  I just thought I would show the gigantic-ness (is that a word?) of the chapel itself.

Oh My...

The kids are eating lunch as I type this (for those who don't know my set-up I am literally a foot away from the table and can hear and see everything they are doing).  They are coming up with some doozies.

Currently The Dude and Peanut are arguing over the proper term for a blueberry.  

Peanut is insistent that it is called a "goo-berry" while the Dude is correcting her saying they are called "strawberries".  How can you not laugh?  


"No, strawberries!"


On and on it goes.

Then there is HP who is inviting all of them to her princess Pea Tarty.  I almost snorted Diet Dr. Pepper out my nose when I heard that one.  Pea Tarty...he he he.

On the subject of HP, I made blueberry muffins this morning for breakfast.  Guess who wanted blueberry-less, blueberry muffins?  I must really love the kid, because lo and behold, there were two muffins in the tin this morning, missing their purple spots.  Thank goodness they all aren't so picky.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nice Day for a White Wedding!

Sorry about my lack of posts lately.  It has been weighing on my mind.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep my eyes up past 8:00 PM from a combination of post-Olympic exhaustion and my recovery from this past weekend.

One of Starchy and I's best friends got married last Saturday.  Shane, swam with us in college, and from the moment we both met him, he has been part of our lives.  It was a great wedding, and Shane, although nervous at times, came through swimmingly (pun intended).  

The great thing about one of our old Mizzou teammates getting married is that it gives us a chance to catch up with other friends as well.  

As usual, I am going to let the pictures do the talking.  I think you can see how much fun Starchy and I had, and how much we are loved (and love) our swimmer friends.

The Groomsmen (L-R) Mike C (MU swimmer), Brady (MU swimmer), Bill (Bride's brother), Shane (Groom & MU swimmer), Thad (Groom's brother), Andy (MU swimmer), Starchy 

Here is how classy Starchy is...guess who ripped one as I was taking the picture?  I am so proud.

This was cocktail hour.  It was so pretty and overlooking a pond.  Although my focus was more on the shelves of drinks BEFORE the pond.  

Starchy giving me the put-the-fecking-camera-away death stare inside the limo.

Oooh...lookie here...who is this little number? ;)

This was the boys the night before the wedding.  There were other wives there, but we were outnumbered 3 to 1.  I feel sorry for the poor maid that had to clean up our hotel room.  Stale pizza and beer is a hard stench to get rid of.

I have no idea what Starchy is doing with his mouth here.  Another one of his Corky poses.  At least Shane looks cute.

Champagne.  Limo.  How swanky!

These shoes were so cute.  Too bad they didn't make it to the damn reception.  I think I may burn them.  

I love this picture and here is why.  The photographer (who had the personality of a tree stump) was trying to get candid's (why he thought all the groomsmen jumping like fairies was "candid" I will never know).  So he told all of the we-were-once-college-athletes groomsmen to jump on his count.  Check out my good friend Mike C on the far right (the one that looks like a chachie).  He didn't even get off the ground.  We saw this picture in my camera as soon as it was taken and didn't let Mike C forget about his 1/4 inch vertical the entire night.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Faces of Summer

We all know the fickle weather in Illinois could turn at any moment, so The Crew and I took full advantage today and played outside in the sprinkler.  It was fabulous.  The little ones (Swanny Jr. and Shmook) were really taking in their surroundings.  

Shmook is very curious about the grass.  He inspects it with all of his senses!  He is also getting very good at crawling and likes to move towards the bushes and swat at them with his hands.

Swanny Jr. was really happy to watch the older kids from the safety of his baby tent.  You can tell he is trying really hard to focus on the blur of activity as the kids fly all around him.  It is quite a task!

Sissy was in her glory.  She is a "drinker" by nature and I am sure if I pureed all of her meals she would be in hog heaven.  That said, when she laid eyes on the sprinkler, you could tell she was thinking "Sweet, I can totally drink till my hearts content", and she did.  

Peanut snagged a pair of princess swim goggles from the outdoor toy box and didn't take them off the entire two hours we were outside.  She also loved filling up her squirt gun over and over (side note: when I was helping her get dried off she said to me "Rikki, you smell like a cracker".  I am still trying to decide if it was a compliment or an insult).  

Miss. Thang pretended the new bench on the deck was a stage, she stood on it and belted her little lungs out.  The girl is a little Hanna Montana in training.  She doesn't care if anyone is listening, she twirls, and sings, and dances whenever she gets a chance.  Maybe the next American Idol?

HP is always the one that wants to get the sprinkler out.  Unfortunately, she doesn't like to get wet.  As soon as she gets the first drip on her, she makes a bee-line for the towel pile where she grabs one (usually the biggest one) and proceeds to snuggle in and repeat "I don't love the sprinkler" over and over.  She is a weird kid.  

The Dude was smiling from ear to ear.  If he wasn't chasing one of the girls, or filling his mouth up with water just to spit it back out, he was karate chopping and kicking the stream coming out of the sprinkler.  He has enough energy for 10 people.

I have the best job in the world.  See for yourself...

Name Change- Shmook

The kids have decided that we must change the name of "The Drooler".  In all honesty, he is not so much a drooler anymore. He has morphed from a little helpless baby, to a feisty crawler that is leaving no toy unturned.  Just yesterday he popped out his first tooth, and he has us all in hysterics with his "what-the-heck-is-in-my-mouth" facial expressions.

I am not really sure how "Shmook" came about.  For some reason the kids and I have been affectionately calling him that for about a month now.  But the other day HP referred to Joanne as "Baby Shmook's Mom".  It was then that I realized a name change might be in order.  So, as far as my little blog is concerned, any and all posts involving the second littlest boy at daycare, will be referred to as Shmook.  

We love Shmook.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Crew Member- Swanny Jr.

We have a lovely new addition to daycare, his name is Swanny Jr. (not his REAL name, although Swanny would be an interesting first name)!  He is the softest, cuddliest, sweetest little baby!  

Today is only his second day at daycare and he is adjusting nicely.  I think it must be hard to go from relative calmness (except for when big sis Peanut decides to crank up the volume) to the chaotic fun-fest that happens here on a daily basis.  

Swanny Jr. is taking in his surroundings and the older kids are lovin' on him!  

Peanut is the authority on all things Swanny Jr. and informs the kids to "give him some space" before I even have to.  She also tries to talk with him when he is crying, cooing "it's okay baby brother, don't cry".  It melts my heart.

Before he was born, Peanut had a couple of meltdowns at daycare over the prospect of being a big sister.  I am happy to say, not only has she overcome any reservations she may have had, she is absolutely reveling in her new role!

Welcome to daycare Swanny Jr.!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Fever

I decided I needed to post today to keep from falling asleep while the kids nap.  You see, I am suffering from a made-up condition I will call Olympic Fever.  

I cannot, not watch.  I have been staying up WAY past my bed time and each morning this week I wake up in a hazy fog (the main symptom of the fever).  

Even the sports like beach volleyball and rowing I have my eyes glued to the TV.  I typically wouldn't consider myself a fan of either sport, but I am now!   

Another symptom of the fever is the random questions I have popping in my head.  

I find myself having pondering things like:

"Why do the female volleyball players wear such tiny bikini bottoms?  Wouldn't it be more comfortable to wear the granny-panty kind?"


"Why does fencing look exactly like The Dude when he flails his light saber around the playroom?  Is there even any skill involved?"


"There is no way the little baby-faced Chinese gymnast is older than 10, but what does it matter...she can flip like a mo-fo"


"Now that Ryan Lochte is over the stomach flu, does he have a hope in stopping the Michael Phelps train?"


"Is Mary Carrillo really a woman (because lets be honest, all signs point to no)?"


"Was it just me or could anyone understand a word Bela Karoly was saying last night?  It sounded like he was gargling marbles"


"I wonder how tall Bob Costas is...he looks like a hobbit"

I have really, really enjoyed watching the Olympics.  Despite some minor controversy (who gives a flying crap if the fireworks were fake, it was still spectacular) I think China is doing a bang up job.  

HP, Miss Thang and The Dude have all enjoyed turning Homebase into a mini-gym.  They are practicing their head stands and flinging their arms around while screaming "TA-DA!" at the top of their lungs.  Even Sissy, who is 18 months old, tried her darnedest to do a somersault (which she did with a little assistance).

You see, they have Olympic fever as well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Dude vs. Monkey bars

One of The Dude's favorite things about the water park last week was the rope monkey bars.  It was one of the first things he spotted from our hotel window and he beelined for it once we got down to the park.  

He was insistent about going across them by himself (some of the kids had parents in the pool helping them cross).  

Starchy and I sat on the edge of the pool (because the water was too deep for The Dude to standup) and watched our determined little four-year old conquer the rings. 

Monday, August 11, 2008


As you can probably guess by my lack of blog posts, I have been on vacation.  I took the past week off of work and, as HP would say, "had big much fun!".

Starchy, Dirty Dane, Morehouse and Bergen took in Lollapalooza in Chicago.  They got home late on Sunday and although they were exhausted, they all had matching perma-grins.  Starchy enjoyed Radiohead (his favorite band) but said he really loved watching Rage Against The Machine (who had broken up as a band and recently reunited), who rocked their set.

We spent Monday and Tuesday hanging out at Homebase with our friends.  It was so nice to slow down and relax.  It is so fun hanging out with friends that you haven't seen in a while.  I don't know if there is anything more fun than reminiscing about the "good ol' days" over some burgers and beer.  A good time was had by all.

On Monday night we had a good thunderstorm.  Our friend Morehouse, who is from Montana, almost shat his drawers.  Poor guy woke his wife up in the middle of the night, convinced there was a tornado right outside his window.  Starchy was up (because HP was pitching a fit) and had to reassure him that if there was a tornado, the sirens would be blaring.  I think Morehouse slept with one eye open the rest of the night.

Our friends headed out on Wednesday and Starchy, the kids and I got ready for Phase Two of our vacation.  

On Thursday we left for the Wisconsin Dells.

For those living out of the Midwest, the Dells are famous for their Water Parks.  We are not talking any dinky little kiddie slides (although I am sure The Dude and HP would have been just as happy with something like that).  We went to The Wilderness Resort which had 
slides that are world famous (and not just for giving the World's Biggest Wedgies either) (although, I am SURE I would have won THAT honor)!  

There was a height requirement on some of the biggest slides so I took it upon myself to make sure we got our money's worth.  I went down one called "The Black Hole" that was basically a balls-to-the-wall slide, which spits you out midway through, into a giant toilet bowl, which then "flushes" you into another mind blowingly fast slide.  The poor attendant at the end of the ride stuck his hand out to politely help me from my tube, I shook my head and looked with horror at his outstretched hand, knowing if I was to jump off then, the people looking on would see both of my ass cheeks.  I decided to float it out whilst picking the wedgie of a lifetime.

The Dude and I also went on a race ride called Haley's Comet.  It was basically four identical slides that you rode on head first on with nothing but a tiny mat between you and the slide. The Dude was a champ.  He had no problem whatsoever and LOVED the speed and thrill of the ride.  Me, not so much.  Let's just say, I pushed down too hard on my mat at the finish line (I was trying REALLY hard to let The Dude win) that I created a squall that went directly up my nose.  I think I had pool water coming out of my eyeballs.  Not as bad as the wedgie, but close.

HP and The Dude had so much fun.  They went 100 miles an hour the entire two days that we were there.  It was like their little heads were on a swivel.  They LOVED the wave pool (even though it threw them both around like little rag dolls), they spent a ton of time in the kids play park section, swinging on ropes and standing under the dump bucket.  Both of them really made strides with their swimming skills as well.
The Dude is starting to grasp the concept of breathing to the side with his face in the water. HP is starting to put her face in the water and kick on her stomach.  It was really fun to watch.

We got home late on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend doing laundry and watching the Olympics (how about the Men's free relay last night!  I am SO glad I stayed up for that!).

Here are are a ton of vacation pics!  Enjoy!

HP had to get in to this feather boa display at the gift shop.  Doesn't she hide well?

I have made dentist appointments for both kids... ;)

I love this picture.  Starchy attempting to get more sleep in the background, and HP's dainty fingers gripping her juice box (I also love the day-old ponytail, so chic).

HP, The Dude and Starchy watching Kung Fu Panda.  They were REALLY into it! 


The grounds of the resort were HUGE so Starchy did a lot of shoulder rides!

Cutest little boy on the planet.

Cutest little girl on the planet!

HP doing her best Paul Bunyan impression (he carries a purse right?).

Whenever we weren't at the water park (which wasn't often) The Dude watched out the window aching to get back (note: Haley's Water-up-the-nose Comet in the background).

Starchy with a new shoulder ride passenger.

Starchy and The Dude just getting up from nap.

The Dude and I.

The Dude in his glory!  

HP swimming!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Carny Fun!

We took in the Riverfest Carnival last night and boy did we whoop it up!

Starchy, Do-it, HP, The Dude, Morehouse (a friend visiting from Montana), his wife Bergen, Dirty Dane and I acted like a bunch of hooligans.  We had A BLAST!  

HP and The Dude were on cloud nine.  I don't think they have ever been so spoiled with such undivided attention (from our awesome friends).  You know you have chosen your friends well when they care about your kids as much as they care about you (if not more).  

Here are the guys.  From L-R, Starchy, Do-it, Morehouse, Dirty Dane.

HP is a people watcher (like the three generations before her).  She was talking to everyone and anyone.  I think she would have happily stayed there all night.

 The Dude was checking out the "big boy" rides.  This was the first year that he really got to experience the upgrade from the kiddie rides.

His first big boy ride.  Dirty Dane was with him every step of the way (bless his heart).  Although The Dude didn't actually utter any words, its as if he is telling me "I'm okay mom, now put the damn camera away".  

The Dude started to get a little nervous so he latched on to Dirty Dane's hand.

 Up they go! (check out how relaxed The Dude's feet are, you will need a reference point for the post-drop comparison).

HOLY SHNIKIES!  My baby is WAY up there (I am pretty sure I was holding my breath at this point).

This is after the free fall.  Hanging on for dear life (notice how his toes are curled, friggin' hilarious!).

A more tame ride.  What carnival would be complete with out the gigantic slide? 

Those blankets give me the heebies. I don't even want to think about when the last time they saw a washer was...bleh.  Although, The Dude doesn't seem to mind.

This is HP's favorite ride.  She must have gone down at least 10 times (gotta love wristband night).

Wee-haw (I am not looking at the blanket...focusing on the tu-tu instead)!

HP and her new best friend.