Just when i think I've got my kids figured out, they flip-flop in some other weird direction. For example, every morning for the past year, Kary asks for yogurt for breakfast. Today at 8a.m., she wants noodles. With broccoli. In my sleep deprived pre-tea state, i give her noodles. With broccoli. She eats a bowl and a half of them. With her fingers. Singing 'rock a-bye noodle' the whole time. Such a odd little girl....
Aly is definitely keeping me guessing these days as she is 4 1/2 and not a baby anymore. But is apparently a stocking cap wearing puppy named Sunny. She crawled out of her room wearing a bright pink stocking cap on her head, socks and sandals on her hands. Barking. Are all kids this random or are mine just extra, um, special??
We have been having lots of fun this summer spending time with friends and being outside. Aly got her first bike which was very exciting. She was more excited about the $3 helmet i bought her and that she wore non-stop while we shopped for her bike. I'll post the picture of her asleep in the car after shopping. You can only imagine the looks we got at all of the stores, until we got to Wal-Mart where it seems to be normal for kids to walk around wearing helmets since we didn't get any stare there. Which is saying a lot since not only was Aly helmet-girl, but Kary was singing the best of Abba at the top of her lungs. Yes, Abba. Mama Mia sparked some hidden disco passion in my girls and now are in training for the 2030 auditions of Mama Mia on Broadway.
Anyway, back to our outdoor fun. We got to go fishing with Daddy, Papa and Gramma a few weeks ago. We had lots of fun and Daddy was happy to catch fish for once! (we'd been on a losing streak with fish for awhile now and he was starting to get fisherman's depression. Which can be very bad, with side affects including twitches at every Goldfish Cracker commercial, weeping at every Red Lobster commercial and down-right sobbing while watching Deadliest Catch. Not a pretty thing to witness, let me tell you.) So while Ian was on the road to recovery, I managed to catch a cute li'l fishy too. With a broken pole. The reel snapped while i was reeling it in and i had to use my hands to pull the line in. It was all very dramatic and Discovery channel-ish until we saw the fish was barely 4 inches big. Oh well, any bigger and i probably would've been pulled into the water and eaten by a whale. A fresh water whale, which are the worst kind.
Kary and Aly fished for a bit too, but had more fun 'hiking' with Gramma. While they discovered new territory the highlight was the rusty screwdriver that they brought back for Daddy. What a spoiled guy!
Speaking of that fine specimen of a man, he has been working hard in our yard this summer. The girls' play area was over run by ants so he tore up the old bark and laid fresh sod. And he also planted lots of flowers and plants that the dogs have yet to destroy. All this he's managed to do while working and doing classes online. What a stud!
This past week marked my first official story time at the library as the Children's Librarian. (yes, i like my title!) The girls love that i work at the library now and play librarian a lot. I am really enjoying working there and am so grateful that i can take the girls with me when i need to. but i do enjoy my few hours on Saturday when they stay home with Ian so i can get paperwork done at the library by myself! Ahh.... quiet!
While we have had a great summer so far, some sadness has touched our family. My parents' close friend and neighbor, Jim, had a heart attack last week at the Idaho City rodeo. He was on life support for a week before they took him off and he passed on the 4th of July. He was like a surrogate grandpa to our girls, Aly calls him "my Jim' and he'd always called her 'my girl'. We are very glad to have had him in our lives. I will include a picture of Jim and Judy from last Christmas if i can find one.
On a far happier note, we are counting down until my sis and her kids are coming for a visit! Only 12 more days until all the kids can run wild together and plot to take over the free-world! Every time they get together, I'm amazed at how lucky we are to have happy, healthy, and yes, insanely weird kids! They must get the insanity from their fathers' sides!!!
Welcome to the first ever Takashige, Williams, Landrum family vacation! In a moment of insanity, us women folk thought of the brilliant idea to pack up 3 families and trek to Yellowstone for a whirlwind vacation. While i had my doubts about the traveling abilities of the youngest and oldest Takashiges, Ian and Kary both surprised me and the trip was almost painless. (We had a rough start when Kary puked all over her car seat right when we left Boise. Apparently yogurt and milk are not good companions to a carsick tummy! Luckily, supermom was prepared for all emergencies and had spare clothes to throw on her while we parked on the side of the freeway. It is amazing how quickly you can get rid of good Samaritans who pull over to make sure you are o.k. by telling them "we have a puking kid"!) But once Mary Poppins was playing on the computer, we started our adventure again! We made it to the house we rented in Cody, Wyoming where Melyssa and family were waiting. We had a fun birthday party for Papa's 60th and i managed to snag some early birthday presents for myself! The next day we wandered around Cody hunting the imaginary pastry. We learned that while there are plenty of bakeries and coffee shops in Cody, they aren't open on the weekends. Many tears were shed but we managed to cowboy-up and shop the the rest of the town dry. Ian now owns part of a gift shop when he bought his weight in jerky! The next day, we got up when the rooster crowed, (o.k., so it was Gianni who woke us up as soon as the sun was up. His snooze button is broken.) and we loaded everyone back in the car to go to Yellowstone. For some reason, no one wanted to ride with us. Maybe because every time we saw a buffalo, we'd sing the Veggie Tales Water buffalo song. Loudly. Out the window at the buffalo. Anyway, we spent a lovely day visiting Old Faithful, waterfalls, mud pits and bathrooms. lots and lots of bathrooms. When traveling with that many girls, you get to know all of the restrooms in the whole forest. I really think most of our time was spent listening to 'i gotta pee', 'I'm hungry' and 'everybody's got a waterbuffaloooooooo'. Ahh, good times. We all a wonderful time and can't wait to do it all over again, just as soon as Yellowstone has recovered from our visit!
Giannia, our tour guide through Yellowstone. Kary and Papa
The Williams and Takashige families. I think the wildlife took some pictures of us too......
Anna, Aly, Cora and Kary in front of the stinky mud pits.
The buffalo that wanted to ride with us.
Yep, that is a big buffalo butt.
The cutest couple this side of the Mississippi
The junior park rangers saluting Yellowstone
Kary living the life of a cowgirl in Cody, Wyoming
Anna, Aly and Kary in the best tub ever, at the awesome house we rented in Cody. Not pictured, Cora and Gianni, due to them going down the drain.
First off, i need to complain about all of you super-moms out there that manage to update your blog more than once every 4 months! I mean, REALLY! I have a hard enough time showering every 4 months and you all seem to make time to squish your lives into easy, breezy, (o.k., sometimes not beautiful) blogs! Are you really that cool that you can type at the same time as you nurse a mini-van hangover? Sigh. I shall try to follow your mighty examples and get my blog back on track! (Although, i DO have a decent excuse for a few months while our computer was dead. But we now have a new one that i haven't managed to kill yet, so we are 'all better' now.)
Things have been crazy as always around here. Aly and Kary are enjoying their dance classes and have been following Dancing With The Stars faithfully. Kary is hoping 'the cowboy' wins even though he forgets to wear his cowboy hat in every dance. That really upsets her and she stands as close as possible to the t.v. yelling 'hey! where his cowboy hat?' Which in turn makes Aly mad because Kary is in HER dancing space, so Aly 'accidentally' pulls a Tonya Harding and takes her out in a few graceful moves. By this time, the dance is over and we get to the girls' favorite part of the show, the judging. Aly will race to stand in front of me to get her critiques and scores, jumping up and down when i give her a '10'. On the rare occasion i give her less than a 10, she makes a sad face and gets a sudden injury. Ahh, the life of a pre-school drama queen!
Another fun game they have invented is being other people. Now, i'm not talking about the normal game of 'i'm Batman, you're Spiderman'. No, they play Sadie and Ike. (their good friends.) In this game, Aly is the cool 8yr.old Sadie, who does cartwheels and backflips instead of walking and Kary is the super-studly younger brother, Ike who cheers his sister on and randomly kicks a ball. (In our house, soccer balls are called Ike-soccer-ball. That's just how sportsy we are around here.) One day while Ike was over at our house, my sister asked what would happen if Aly and Kary played Sadie and Ike while Ike was there. I panicked the rest of the day and hid behind couches eavsdropping in hopes i could stop a knock-down drag-out fight over who got to be Ike. When they did start to play the Sadie & Ike game, Aly asked Ike who he wanted to be. Without even blinking, Ike said "a cat named Spice." Phew! Thank goodness for the randomness of that sweet boy! If only more wars could be won like that!
Ian is still happily arresting the bad guys and keeping our streets (and cowtrails) safe from the scum of the earth. He is also busy with being a Drill Sergeant for the Army Reserves. It is pretty much the same job, with different costumes. (i mean, uniforms. Manly men wear uniforms, not costumes, right?) Anyway, the jobs are very similar as he has to yell at naughty people and inflict pain as needed. As a matter of fact, that is pretty much what i do as a mom too.............
So, Aly is now officially a 4 year old! She had a wonderful birthday party with her friends at the local bowling alley where the highlight of the party was to laugh at how bad of a bowler i am. I am very grateful to Kary for taking some of the spotlight off of my amazing gutter-ball records, by getting her finger squished in between bowling balls. I had to give her a REALLY big piece of cake to make her feel better. I was hoping to put pictures of the party up, but for some reason we only got pictures of butts. Lots and lots of butts. (Note to self, don't let Paula take pictures again. ) Nobody needs to see picture after picture of my butt helping toddlers bowl. Permanent eye damage would ensue. Immediately after seeing those pictures, i decided to go back to teaching dance classes in hopes that doing "Heads, shoulders, knees & toes" repeatedly with aspiring ballerinas would make my hiney shrink. While that hasn't happened, the classes have been lots of fun so far. The best part is watching my girls take the classes that i teach. I don't want to brag, but they really are the cutest things in tutus ever! They love the classes and really do have natural talent. (must come from Daddy or Papa.) Kary is the youngest in class and by far the smallest, yet she keeps up with the 3-6 year olds without a problem. It is such fun to watch her try to leap over the pretend river (a scarf or whatever is handy that i put in the middle of the room for them to practice jumping over.) Her legs are so short that so barely skims the top and all of the other kids clap for her when she makes it over. Aly enjoys each part of the class, but especially the 'magic wand free dance'. She gets so into dancing that she forgets about the other kids waiting for their turn, and has been known to decapitate fellow students with the wand. Did i mention how cute she looks doing it??? Kary has had many milestones in the past few weeks. The biggest is, hold your breath! She is sleeping through the night! Now all of you parents with that amazing breed of 'good sleepers', stop your eye rolling and scoffing. After 4 years of not sleeping through the night, I am so stinkin' excited about this! Aly is doing much better as well, her night terrors aren't as often and her growing pains are getting better. So my toes are crossed that I will finally be able to sleep more than 4 hours at a time! One of Kary's other milestones is she refuses to poop in her diaper at night/nap time. Which is really great except for when she has to poop and i can't hear her calling. WARNING, the following is not for the squeamish!! So a few nights ago, the little angels were asleep in their beds so i snuck off to the bath with relaxing music and a good book. Unfortunately, between the music and bubbles in my ears, i didn't hear Kary crying until i got out much later. I ran into their room to discover her standing in the corner of her crib, tears streaming down her face, empty diaper in hand with a pile of poop on her sheet!! The poor kid had woken up needing to poop and didn't want to go in her diaper since she's a big kid. The result was a messy middle of the night cleanup that cancelled out any relaxation that my bath had brought me! So tonight, we are putting Kary's mattress on the floor with her potty nearby so she can take care of business whenever she needs to. I am SO not ready for another mobile kid! Maybe I'll start to sleep in the crib where they can't get to me.........
Let's start off with a heartfelt apology, shall we? I was thinking of all the excuses I could make up as to why I haven't updated this blog in a while, when i realised that you all wouldn't believe me anyway so let's just go with the truth! We've been busy and I honestly haven't taken the time to do it! So, here's a recap of the past month and a half!! Christmas was wonderful, we got to go up (and i mean UP!) to my parent's house for Christmas to spend it with them and Lyssa's fam. Miracle of miracles, no cousins were harmed in the 4 days together! Non of us adults were harmed either, although we where taking bets to see which of the guys would fall of the deck first as they helped Papa shovel that iceburg. My bet on Ian lost, as he learned from previous years to stay away from the edge and Papa and his snow blower. While the mighty men were busy keeping Jack Frost from nibbling at the structures supports, us woman-folk stayed busy with the kids, eating, playing games and watching movies. Kary and Gianni bonded over a game they like to call "keep our parents awake all night". They tied for first place. Aly was so full of Santa wonder this year, that when she got her little ceramic reindeer she kept saying "its just what I've always wanted!" And Kary thought that the bag of dried fruit in her stocking was the greatest thing ever. I hope that they keep that spirit of gratefulness with them for the rest of their lives. On the day we had to go home, Santa called me and said that since the girls had been so good, they could go to the pet store and get a bunny! They were so happy to pick out a cute black bunny that Aly promptly names Frog. With a little convincing, she switched it to Prancer as her way of thanking Santa. Prancer has quickly become a part of our family, Ian is "potty training" him since i trained both of the girls! It is so much fun to hear him scolding the fluffy little thing for sleeping in his litter box! "No, no, Prancer! go potty here and sleep over there! who's a good bunny?" For a cop and a drill Sergeant, he has such a soft spot! Another reason I love him! After Christmas, we had to say goodbye to my sis and her clan and that proves to be just as hard as the first time. Kary is convinced that they are hiding at my parents' and every time she talks to Gramma, she asks to talk to Gianni. Aly has grasped the whole moving and traveling a little better. She was recently riding her toy cop car around the house and got frustrated at the slant where carpet meets linoleum. Seeing her angst, i went to give her a push. "It's alright, Mommy, it's just that all this darn ice makes it slickery to drive to Wyoming!" As 2008 ended, I wanted to do something special for New Years. Since Ian's idea of a fun New Years party is to see who can arrest the most drunks in a night, I came up with the idea to have a Hawaiian/Japanese New Years celebration in honour of his culture. It took until last weekend for everyone to not be sick so we could get our grass skirts on and party! I made a recipe of his mom's that i stole top-secret and incorporated some of his dad's and my grandma's traditions. When Ian came home from drill, we were dressed in our leis and had a great time. Welcome, 2009!