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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trash Talk

"I should be a chameleon someday.  No, Canadian?  Comedian!"  -James

"Boom!  Go tell THAT to all of your friends!"  -Will, during an argument with Elise

"Trash!"  -Zach, throwing anything he finds into the trash


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Celebrity Babies: Renamed

Ok, so I haven't blogged in awhile.  Since before Halloween, to be exact.

The reason?  We've been pretty busy.  Haven't even had time to put the kids' Halloween pictures or Thanksgiving pictures or funny quotes up, or much of anything, really.

But there is an urgent matter that needs my words of wisdom: the name of the newest Kardashian baby.

Do you ever hear a name someone (usually a famous person) has recently bestowed upon an innocent babe and wistfully imagine renaming him or her?  I do, because I am an elitest name-nerd jerk, and I demand that the names of celebrities' children be matched in terms of style and aesthetics.  Mason, Penelope, and.....Reign?  No, no, no [shakes head slowly].

Here is what they should have named him:  Royal (nickname: Roy).  Royal Disick.  Royal, Pain-in-the-Aston, Disick.  Get it?

But seriously, I think Reign Aston is quite lame, especially next to the down-to-earth names of his siblings.  I think something like Beau (not Reign Beau!) would have been less bombastic, but nobody asked me, unfortunately.

Speaking of "nobody asked me", here are a few other insipid celebrity baby names, revised and updated for your name-nerding pleasure....

Wyatt Isabelle
Autry Abilene

Rainbow Aurora
Aurora Mariel

Cash Van
Dashiell Van

That's all I can think of for now.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

THAT Guy

"'Cause you're a guy, 'cause you're a guy, full of farts.  That's a dis-compliment." -Will, singing to the tune of Coldplay's A Sky Full of Stars and directing said-lyrics at his older brother

"THAT guy!"  -Zach, when he looks in the mirror and points at himself

"Excuse me, WHY are we reading this?"  -James, interrupting me as I read a particularly graphic scene from Julie of the Wolves, wherein the adult wolves regurgitate their meat for the newly-weaned juveniles

"I told you a million times: a zombie cheerleader."  -Elise, when asked about her Halloween costume plans

--

I've already got my most authentic Halloween zombie accessory: a real-live "ouch" from parathyroidectomy #2.








Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Very-Belated, To My Secondborn

Will is nine.  Wowsa!

Here's a pic of when we brought him home...




....and here's a pic of the birthday boy now.






Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Belated, To My Fourthborn

Zachy turned one about a week ago.  He also had his first day of Mom & Tot preschool today.  The highlights:

-Standing independently at the easel (though he still requested the help of my index fingers to walk around)
-Painting at the easel
-Eating paint at the easel
-Circle time with hand puppets
-Snack, during which he sat in an actual, tiny CHAIR (not a booster or high chair!)

It's unreal how quickly the time is going.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baby Name Stories: Our Kids

I went through the scrapbooks to dig up these pics of the kids and remember the stories of how we picked their names.  I am too lazy to dig through all the old hard drives for digital copies, but I wanted to respond to a new name blogger's query through nameberry. 

How They Were Named

James Daniel B. was the name of Joe's paternal grandpa.  James is also my dad's middle name.  When Joe first suggested we name our son James, I was not enthused.  James was also the name of a child I knew when I was growing up; that James was an oddball homeschooled kid stereotype and once stuck green M&M's up his nose.  But now I am so glad we named him James, and it's grown to be my favorite boy name as our boy has grown.  I like the James Bond association, too (if I ignore the misogyny).


William Joseph:  William was another name from Joe's family tree.  Joe had an ancestor on his mother's side who was named William Durrell McCarty.  I'd wanted to use Joseph as a middle for James, but we used it for Will's name, instead--if one son is fully named after a great-grandparent, then the next son should get the father's first as a middle name, I figured.  Took me some time to get used to the name William/Will because it reminded me of the 80's movie Willow.  But there is truly no other name for this child.  He's the strongest-willed person I know.

Elise Marie--We both really loved the simple, sophisticated Elise for a girl, although she could have been an Alison).  Again, Joe's family tree was the inspiration source; he had a maternal ancestor named Elise Haseloff.  I also love Fur Elise by Beethoven.  Marie is a name I have always loved.

Zachary Allan:  the name of boy #3 was a contentious issue and it took us a long-@ss time to negotiate.  Joe liked Jackson (gasp, especially with our other kids' names) and Allan, and that was pretty much it.  He later revealed that he was joking about Jackson (what the..?).  Allan was the name of Joe's childhood friend he used to fish with.  It's a great name but I couldn't stand the thought of Al with our last name (too much like Married With Children's Al Bundy).  So after I suggested my perfectly reasonable, nice name choices and he shot them all down, I suggested the traditional and non-noveau-cool Zachary (Zach) in desperation and he agreed ("like Zack Morris!").  But by then, the big kids had gotten really attached to an early favorite (Alexander/Alex).  It took some serious convincing that the parents were the ones who got to pick the baby's name, not the kids.
George Thomas: (will update soon; 5th child syndrome) Arthur Niels: (will update soon; 6th child syndrome)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Belated, To My Firstborn

Happy Belated Birthday, my sweet baby James.

How is it that you're already a decade old????


Pictures (of the birthday dude, of the Michigan trip, et al.) below.

At Pentwater.  Ice cream cake from Aunt Kay!

With Alanna's kids.

Horseback riding
Go-Karting.  What better fun for turning ten?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Things to Never Have

Things To Never Have In Your House If You Have Children

1.  Sharpie Fine-Tip Permanent Marker, 24-Pack Assorted Colors ('80's Glam).  Cost of item: $14.99 plus free shipping.  Cost of lesson learned: $3,000 in carpet and carpet pad.  [Yes, I have pics.  They are on my deactivated Facebook and I don't want to have to log on and retrieve them.  I think I even took a video.  You'll just have to take my word for it.]

2.  A piano.

3.  A large container of fish food.  And a fish.  (Dubya Dee is alive and well, and luckily there's no particular story that goes along with this one--yet.)

4.  Couch pillows you kinda like.

5.  A yardful of neighborhood kids and not enough banana licuado in the blender.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moms of Boys (Scary Mommy)

Can relate to almost all of this, except for the totally-blue-uterus part.

http://www.scarymommy.com/10-things-moms-of-boys-must-do/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Confession

I love Weird Al.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Renegotiations

Elise (disgruntled): MOM.
Me:  What?
Elise:  When Emily lost her first tooth, her parents gave her TEN dollars!  And you only give one.
Me:  Well her parents must be rich...

Me (30 seconds later):  I mean, Tooth Fairy!  Her Tooth Fairy must be rich.  Not her parents.
Elise (unfazed):  Please, please give me ten dollars.
Me:  Plus, this isn't even your first lost tooth.  It's just your first front tooth.
Elise:  How about two dollars?

---

In other news, I made a meme:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Few Trip Pics

This was basically the front yard of the house.  Will and James snorkeled together several times a day.
With James and Zachy
Elise on Water Cay
Here it is, your moment of Zen.
Joe and big kids on Water Cay.
The house.
Ridiculous selfie at the locals' beach near town.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our Trip: Quick & Dirty Version

We're back from Utila.  Here are the highlights of the trip:

The Good:
-amazing rental house with stunning views
-breathtaking snorkeling right out front of property
-no one in our party contracted malaria*, explosive diarrhea, or that emerging "Chicken-goon-yay" virus* (*we think)

The Bad
-semi-automatic weapons on bank guards y la policia were a little intimidating
-power outage on day five; toilets no longer flushed (Poo Central Station in the two bathrooms)
-!Hace calor in Honduras!  Especialmente cuando no funciona el aire acondicionado.  =Hot, sweaty baby.

The Ugly
-I will need to post an image of all the insect bites covering my legs and back, in order to do the situation justice.  Luckily Zach didn't get too many.
-Zach forgot how to sleep through the night somewhere around Day 2, even when A/C was a-roarin'
-Fun Fact:  Honduras has an exit airport tax of US$40/person (surprise!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Riding in Cars with Kids

Mid-1990's flashback of the week:

James:  Mom, what's a "wonderwall"?
Me:  (Turning down the Oasis song on the radio)  I don't know, buddy.  What do you think it is?
James:  A koala.
Me:  I think that's a "wallaby" you're thinking of.
James:  Nope.  Two different things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You Might Be From Detroit If...

You Might Be From Detroit If...

#001.  ...you think Kelly Clarkson should have named her baby River Rouge.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dads: The Sound of You

I read a surprisingly cool quote in People, from Matthew McConaughey:

"It's nice when [the kids] notice the deep voice from across the house, and they know it's Papa.  They know it's Dad."

This totally happened today, when Joe came home from work (yes, he did work on a Saturday; building spaceships does take dedication even on Father's Day weekend; make that Dadication.  Zing!)

Zach was helping me unfold the laundry I'd just finished folding.  The two of us were upstairs, in the special laundry-folding spot (the floor, in front of the laundry room).  Joe came into the kitchen through the garage entrance and started talking to the big kids, who were in the grips of Minecraft.  Baby and I heard the familiar clink in the key bowl--Joe putting away his car keys.  And immediately, Zach perked up and started yelling and waving his arms.

It was unmistakable recognition of Dad's dad-noises by our almost 10-month-old.

Zach was thinking, "Dad's home!"  And he wouldn't be consoled until he was in Joe's arms.

--

One of the hardest moments of my life was, after my dad's accident, being in his house while he lay across town in the hospital.  Listening for the familiar, late-day noises of my teenage years and not hearing them.  Not hearing him stroll jovially into the house after a day at work to call out, "Hullo!" in just his way.  I was an adult by then, with kids of my own.  But at that time I felt as vulnerable as if I had never left childhood.

I remember praying to hear those things again.

Thank you, higher powers that be, for the dadsounds in my life.




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Camping

Went camping in the Eastern Sierras last weekend, via an invitation from some very brave friends.  It was fun.  We froze at night and it was sunburning hot in the daytime, but the Costco 8-person tent continues to serve and protect.

I'd call it a success.  Zach only ate one handful of dirt and nobody snagged himself with a fish hook.


At an alpine lake near Mammoth.

Dad 'n' Zach


Will and Elise stand on boulders; James stands in a pit and looks tiny.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Motor-vation

Joe says he'll buy me a shiny new mom taxi if I can run a 6:30 mile.

My first thought--beyond wondering whether my husband is growing weary of the ol' love handles--was, Oh Good!  Now I can get the giant, tricked-out, gas-guzzling SUV I've always secretly wanted (but outwardly scorned).
"They see me rollin'/ They hatin'" -Chamillionaire Family Taxi


Then, a few minutes of internet research revealed the price of a giant gas-guzzler to be much, much too high for the likes of us.  Even the sensible one, without the spinners.  Oh, well.  On to the second choice...that schoolmarmish Honda minivan with the built-in vacuum.  Yesssss.

"You spilled something?  Vacuum it up RIGHT NOW.  Yes, while we're driving.  Need I remind you what our last minivan looked like on the inside?"  -Me, to anyone under age 12

But....dang.  Who would have thought you'd have to buy the Touring Elite (read: the most expensive one) to get the HondaVAC?  Frickin' Honda, you are really bumming me out, man.

So now I am a little sad.  And that's to say nothing of the kidney selling we'd have to do to afford any vehicle whatsoever (new or pre-food-encrusted) at the moment.

But hey, at least my love handles are shrinking.  :)

And here's another tally on the positive side of things:

Displaying photo.JPG
Zach-in-the-Box, for real this time.





Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Comic Book Artist

Here's a comic James made of his dad's life.

Notice the montage of scenes from Joe's life, each likeness with spiky hair and a smile.  There's Joe scoring in water polo (bottom left).  Top right is Joe winning a Junior Nationals event when he was 17.  Bottom right: looks like he's underhand serving a volleyball?  Top left: Joe with undisclosed female (me?). And top center, the family man with wife and gaggle of children.

My favorite is the "TM" indicating James is trademarking this idea.





Sunday, June 1, 2014

Metal Dads!

This is so cool.  I want to tell every guy I know how "metal" the dad life can be.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/31/dad-life-is-metal-photos_n_5424234.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular