Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's going on in the Universe?

Somewhere, Someone is asking me to be a teensy tinsy bit more grateful for all that I've got. And just for the record, I'm tryin', I really am!

But tonight, my heart is heavy thinking of two families who are not enjoying the blessings of 'generally doing okay'. One is a good friend from college, one is a total stranger that I encountered through a random click on a random link on a random blog.

I hope Melissa won't mind me giving her a shout out - she is a friend from Newbold who was just doing her thang down in Florida with her husband & 3 little ones (roughly the same ages as mine). All of a sudden, up pops health issue after health issue and ta da! She finds herself in open heart surgery today at the tender age of 30 [ahem] something. She and her little ones have been in my thoughts & prayers this week. The news is good this evening (thanks for the updates guys!) and I wish her a speedy recovery (before the next set of hurdles.)

Then there's Nienie. Read about her story here on her sister's blog:
I guess the story caught my eye because of the last name (Nielson), and I read about the terrible plane crash she & her husband were in, and their four small kids, and the long road to recovery the two of them face............. and and and: here is a family that needs our thoughts/prayers/good wishes/karma in a very real way! She has a very cool blog, and there are tributes all over the place for the joy & courage she brings to other people through her very positive and affirming way of looking at the world. I guess the world is sending all those warm fuzzies back to her in her time of need.

Now I don't normally write in this vein, and I will admit to it feeling somewhat foreign, maybe uncomfortable? But there are 2 families tonight that need much, and I have much to give. That is a good & healthy thing to know.

Notre Pain Quotidien

Why is it that in 2 year of high school French and 6 months of hell on a French farm, all that sticks with me is the Lord's Prayer?

Anyway. One of our weekly rituals is the Catonsville Farmer's Market: every Wednesday, we roll up in the 10-yr old SUV with our cloth grocery bags and buy up the best of what Local has to offer. This week, the Sungold cherry tomatoes were super sweet, the lima beans were deelish, and the corn was creamy well before it encountered the butter dish. But arguably, our favorite stop is Atwaters Bakery, where they sell amazing breads, cookies, scones, and general yumminess.

Yesterday, Cecilie was on a mission. "Can we get the Rosemary Italian bread please?" and then in line: "Is that one the Rosemary Italian bread?" So I figure, what the heck, we'll shake it up and get the Rosemary Italian loaf. And a baguette. (You can take the girl out of the French farm, but you can't take the French farm out of the girl...)

At dinner, I slice the baguette, and the kids grab a hunk of bread. "Is this the Rosemary Italian bread, Mommy?" "Um, no, its a French baguette." [heavy sighs from the eldest] "Just try it, Cecilie, I think you'll like it." The bread passed muster, but it was quite clear that I hadn't gotten it right.

So tonight, still following the Anti-Atkins Diet, I sliced some Rosemary Italian bread, thinking that I was going to get SuperMommy kisses all round. And sure enough, "hey! Is this the Rosemary Italian bread, Mommy?!?!" "Why yes, my cherubs, yes it is." Repeat of last night: grab the hunks of bread, tear into it with tiny pearly white teeth.... Silence. "What's wrong Cecilie?" "Mommy, are you sure this is the Rosemary Italian bread?" "It sure is, sweetheart." "Oh. Then it's not the bread I was thinking of."

As long as they don't know its boring...

Found myself pontificating last night on the utter asininity of the show Wife Swap. (Those who know me well will be acquainted with my pathological need to speak in declaratives.)

Me: It's so extreme, Torbjorn! I mean, where do they get these families?? For example, the poor children tonight in that one family, they 'live simply' and so they're all green and artsy, and the dad reads stories from Herodotus at bedtime. And get this - their children's idea of a game is to go outside and beat rocks with golf clubs! And call it Breaking Crystals!
-long pause-
T: Um. Cecilie & I were doing that last weekend, Kir. But its cool, 'cause we used a hammer.
Me: oh.

So there you go. Watch for me on Wife Swap. You know, if they're looking for another Simple Living kinda family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our little walker

The littlest cousins hanging out, planning their next defense against the onslaught of Big Kids...
It might just be being the youngest and seeing the olders running around, combined with a very forgiving (read: "carpeted") floor...
..but this girl might just skip that whole crawling part if she gets her way
Proud mother, cool kid (note the Ready to Rumble Action Pose)
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That Talia Girl

This one goes out to Talia Jean our dearest jelly bean, our favorite NoCal groovy cousin. (According to her Grandma, she is pretty close to an incarnation of her Auntie Kirsten at age 3+, in looks and in spirit.)
Happy times had by all for three wonderful weeks of summer
Every day an adventure and almost everyday a sleep over
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School Ready

Cecilie and Ellie got a special night out at Target to get school supplies: Ellie got the ice cream flavor smelly pencils, and Cecilie got the unicorns & stars sparkle pencils. Both girls are ALL SET for Kindergarten, & counting down the days.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grandpa's birthday

...well, really only an excuse to get the moon bounce going...
One exceedingly cute cousin Talia from San Fran
The kids' enthusiastic encouragement of Max's newly-acquired walking skills: "Go Maxie, GO!" [very loud, very repetitive, for emphasis]
A very proud Birthday Boy with 5 out of 6 grandkids (Annika's sleeping, again!)
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our refuge

There is only one way to escape the summer heat - the aptly named Ice Cream Cottage...
We happen to go a lot...
Hangin' along the storm drain...
...a whole bunch o' hangin' (For a real celebration of his birthday, Grandpa got full babysitting duties)
Luckily they also have Ice cream flavored snow balls (if you call them sno'cones, or shaved ice, you're not from round 'ere), or these two ladies would not be quite this cheerful... Our favorite joke is that Annika always orders "2 scoops of nothin' with nothin' sprinkles." She will probably find this less funny next summer.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goofing around

Remember the Muppets' Swedish Chef? We present you with the less-well-known but so much cuter Norwegian Chef. And I have it on good authority that the Swedish Chef's language is actually based on that 'Norskesprak' anyway...
Cecilie having her very own Marilyn moment w/ Daddy's industrial fan...
The kids are in Grandma's backyard 'gathering the harvest' - Talia is wondering what crazy place she's come to.
Lars the Viking and Sir Jonah the Great in full battle regalia. Off to fight the Big Sisters then...
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spy kids and superheros

If I had only know that getting them SUNGLASSES would pretty much rock their world, I'd sprung for it much earlier...
...I mean, holy cow how cool are these kids?
By some measure of fortune they were doing free airbrush face painting at IKEA one day we went, so Cecilie got turned in to Flower girl...
...and Lars becamea greenish version of Spiderman (in church clothes, natch)!
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Monday, August 4, 2008

Nobody's Kung-fu fighting apparantly

Cecilie woke up disturbed today, she'd had a Kung Fu Panda nightmare she proclaimed...

When asked to elaborate, it wasn't about dragons, or rope bridges falling, or Tai Lung.
As it turned out, it was about her dad, having a role in the movie -and not being very good at Kung Fu!

So, we are not allowed to sing "Everybody was kung fu fighting" at our house anymore, and I have to get back to honing my numchuck skills...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Feelings, nothing more than feelings

This afternoon, the kids' cousin Talia wouldn't obey her eldest cousin during clean up time and in fact had the nerve to bail on cleaning & head out to the wading pool. This prompted a long talk about dealing with hurt feelings. ("She hurt my feelings more than anyone ever has, Mommy!") Amidst shuddering sobs and intermittent deep breaths, she listened as I explained how some people might show their hurt feelings by being angry, some might show it by being sad, some might show it by being very quiet, etc.

"Or, Mommy, they might show it by just being EXASPERATED!!!!!!!!!"

Well, yes. Exasperated.
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