Lainey is Four

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today is Lainey's actual birthday, and in honor of that...collages! Collages for each of my summer baby's summers so far! Because I really like making myself cry, apparently!

Summer 2010

Summer 2011

Summer 2012

Summer 2013

Birthday Party 2014!

My Lainey-Girl (aka Sparkle Ladybug Lainey, aka Hello-Lainey) is the sweetest, most tender-hearted, empathetic little old soul in the entire world, and we're so beyond lucky to have her in our family! I love this four year old baby of mine with my whole heart!

Hello Kitty Quick Takes

Friday, July 25, 2014

1. Lainey's birthday party is today! And miraculously, I have everything all packed up and ready to go! I see nothing but Hello Kitty when I close my eyes, but it's all ready and I think I still have time to relax with a cup of coffee for a few minutes before I need to get the girls up and dressed. Miraculously. I said that, right?

2. And we'll be getting dressed in our Hello Kitty shirts, naturally. Because Avalon and Phoebe and I have to match the birthday girl! It's the theme! And I will beat it into the ground, as I simply can't help myself!

 3. But we'll wear these shirts plenty in the future. And you can bet that I'll be using this sweet vegetable cutter (I...think? That's what the pictures on the package look like...) for cute school lunches.

 I ordered it to shape the fondant cupcake toppers that I wanted. $2 on Amazon, score!

4. So I could create vaguely eerie cupcakes that are watching you.

(It's entirely possible that I haven't gotten quite enough sleep lately. They're cute, right? Not sinister at all. That's just my own personal Hello Kitty overload talking, RIGHT?)

5. Just smile and nod, y'all. It's way to late in the game uncreepify them now. 

6. The thank-you bags turned out better, in my opinion, although I have no idea what to call that stuff I made for them. It's popcorn and pretzel sticks and sprinkles and chocolate chips, coated in melted almond bark and then broken up after it hardens. I usually make it for Easter and we call it Bunny Bait, but you can make it for ANY occasion if you just change up the type of sprinkles you use. It's seriously addictive, but calling it Hello Kitty Crack seems fairly inappropriate. 

7. Drinks chosen entirely for how cute they look with the labels, showing a wildly irresponsible disregard for stains and the dangers of Red Dye Number Five. Actually, this may well be the first time that my children have ever tasted Kool-Aid. We're going to live dangerously today!

(Don't think we're off the Hello Kitty hook yet, though. I'll still be posting pictures of the actual PARTY next!)

Wordless Wednesday: Smackdown

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aaron and Jamie kept the girls occupied while I made dinner last night, and it was kind of a glorious riot as far as I could tell. I'm not entirely sure that they're going to miss me next week - Daddy is FUN! And you can hit him with boxing gloves!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, July 21, 2014

So I'm not really sure what happened to July in Texas this past felt like fall here. It was in the sixties during the middle of the day! It was weird, but we loved it, and there wasn't much resistance to my Stay Outside All Day While We Can agenda.

On Friday (after playing outside all day, naturally) we all spent a long evening at the school. Aaron and the boys tore down the old play structure and the girls played on all of the new stuff that was installed last year.

So, that was fun! The girls were all tired out afterwards, but the boys wanted a Catan re-match, so we stayed up pretty late.

Saturday morning I made a Whole Foods run with my mom, and then we stopped at MANY yard sales and estate sales on our way back. The Arlington Historical Society was even having a sale, which nearly killed me. All the old vintage stuff! There was a spinning wheel and a printing press, and old typewriters! I want an old-timey typewriter for my classroom SO BADLY, but these weren't cheap enough that I could justify getting one, alas. It was fun poking through all the old stuff, though!

Much of Saturday afternoon was spent like this... the girls took an extra-long nap (again worn out from playing outside) and Aaron killed some video games while I brushed up on the first four books of the Iliad in preparation for next week's retreat.

Agamemnon was getting on my nerves and I kept complaining about him until Aaron reminded me that the Agamemnon character in Mr. Peabody and Sherman was voiced by Patrick Warburton. You know, Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove? The guy who basically has the most hilariously wonderful voice EVER? I heard all of Agamemnon's lines in his voice after that, and it was awesome!

RIGHT? No way Achilleus could have stayed mad at him if he had sounded like that!

On Sunday we did church and then lunch. It was nice enough that we opted for the patio, which always makes it somehow easier to have that many tinies at a restaurant. I'm not sure why, but it does.

This last one is actually a picture of a life lesson. Aaron was going to order something for the girls to share, since they rarely eat much at one sitting. But Avalon really wanted a corn dog and she PROMISED she would eat it all if he ordered her her own meal. The word "promise" has really been misused around here lately. Aaron ordered the meal that she wanted, but with the understanding that promise means you have to do what you say.

Guess who didn't want to eat her corn dog after two bites, because Daddy's tortillas looked more delicious?

We had a long family discussion about not promising things that you aren't going to fulfill, and why people need to be able to count on you to stand by your word. And she ate her whole corn dog after all!

Quick Takes

Friday, July 18, 2014

The boys have been tearing down an old part of the playground at Flint to make way for a new sand volleyball court. I love that they can work at the school- it helps them feel more connected and proud. We are a community and everyone contributes...I think that's such an important sense for the kids to have.

Plus, you know, demo is kind of fun. You get to use axes and stuff.

2. We signed Avalon up for a musical theatre camp. I haven't mentioned the possibility of it to her because I wasn't sure that we could swing it (and also because I actually think it's unkind to tell children about the super awesome things that they might be doing. They don't have any control over whether something happens or doesn't happen, no matter how much they look forward to it. Life presents plenty of opportunities for them to learn to deal with disappointments without us setting up unnecessary opportunities, is what I think. So I try VERY HARD to keep my mouth shut until things are as confirmed as they can be.) but she's been a TINY bit obsessed with being in a play for a while now. She understood that she couldn't be in Joseph because it was just for the big kids, but when she saw girls her own age in Annie she started asking if she could be in a play, too. I think I've just about "Maybe someday"-ed her to death these past few weeks!

3. Her response to the news was so very typical Avalon. First she squealed and jumped around, then she interrogated me thoroughly as to casting and costuming procedure. And then she ran off to make a thank-you card for Gran, who is helping with the tuition.

(That is a drawing of the theater and Avalon is on the stage, naturally having been cast in the lead role.)

4. The boys had their LAST summer league games last night. Those are skeptical all-caps, because you will never catch me believing that basketball is over! But I'm glad they won the last game, particularly since it was one of those down-to-the-wire games. They were down by one point with eleven seconds left on the clock, and Bernachi executed Aaron's strategy perfectly and WON THE GAME!

I wasn't there, but I got to see a really life-like re-enactment in the living room when they all got home. I love my underdogs!

5. The girls and I were stuck inside all day yesterday because it was raining so much. I opened up the dress-up trunk and let their imaginations run amok while I read a book and helped them in and out of costumes.

(not pictured: forty bazillion other costume combinations and poses, because WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE, MAMA, TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS ONE)

6. We made one glorious mess, but it was awfully fun! Ordinarily I would have a planned Activity. Or I would be doing chores while they were occupied with free play. But yesterday, I don't know...I wanted to be still and read and have a front-row seat to their imaginations. And I realized that while I model busy! working! for them all of the time, they also need to see mama resting occasionally without the universe imploding.

In completely not-surprising news, Phoebe continues to adore being the center of her big brothers' attention.

Seriously. I know you're all probably sick of pictures like this, but it's SO CUTE to see her immediately toddle to the middle of a group of them when they get home, and to listen to them argue over whose name she's trying to say. I love it, that is all.

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