Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthday 3x

On turning 5 . . . 

It all began with a girl.  She turned 5. Actually turned 5 years old.  This particular age holds significant meaning: kindergarten, cooties, reading, tag at recess, school buses  etc.

But, since this post is about the birthday I guess will define what 5 years old means in this regard.  5 years old for Kate means that as soon as all guests were present, every little female immediately filed upstairs, raided Kate's closet, and changed clothes.

5 years old means that Ryan and I had to wax eloquent on the singularity of celebrating your birthday in the same month as the commencement of the Olympic Games, and therefore, convince her that her birthday should be themed accordingly.  "Don't worry," we said, "there would be plenty of opportunities to "princessify" subsequent birthdays."  She was only marginally convinced.  

Mix the aforementioned desires of the 5 year old, with those of the parents and you get little girls running foot races in princess dresses.  

Robby, however, was not turning 5. The only changing he wanted to do was into Superman.  He relished the Olympic Theme and charged through the races and games with masculine ferocity.  Way to go Rob!

On turning 30 . . . .  

Although I don't recall clearly, I'm almost certain Ryan flew home from a trip at about midnight the night before his call came to enter the new decade.  The passing of time doesn't wait for the business trip to wind down.  Time marches right on with the traveler's slightly fuzzy body (particularly the face) and mind in tow.  And, whether he liked it or not, Ryan came home to meet his new age. 

Fortunately his 30 years have been good ones and each of the 30 balloons hanging above his bed contained notes that reminded him of the particulars of those years.  Kate wrote some, I wrote some for Rob, and I wrote some for me.  Without giving Ryan away, his reaction was priceless, and led me to believe this birthday idea struck gold. Added bonus: I won serious sneaky points when I maneuvered a ladder and two snickering little kids into our bedroom and taped 30 balloons to the ceiling without rousing the man.

There, see that face, that is Ryan beaming.  It's a little shrouded by jet lag, Ryan's own awareness of a camera, and the fact that it is a photograph.  But he is beaming.  Ahhhh, it feels good to see someone you love feel good.

Plus, each little note could not come out until a balloon was popped.  Everyone loved that.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the day.  Capture the moment.  

Oh, and just after this picture was taken, we got blinds.  Glorious.  Now I don't have to crawl on the floor to get from the shower to the closet.  

On the Olympics . . .

Not a birthday, but so celebratory none-the-less.

Two facts:  we don't own a TV, and the Olympics aired this summer.  This was a dilemma, so we rented a TV for the time of the Olympics and now we don't own a TV anymore. I am fully aware of how weird all of that is.  Weirdness aside, I think the Olympics are one of the only justifiable television events out there.  So amazing, moving, and inspiring.  We loved every minute of our rented Olympic TV time. And we celebrated with our friends at a fun party they hosted.

On turning 3 . . .

Every year from ages 0-5 a child experiences change and growth of mammoth proportions. 3 unlocks the door to preschool, swimming lessons, and primary classes at church.  Age 3 may seem quite juvenile to some, but Robby is taking his steps toward adulthood quite seriously.  He is contemplating his career options frequently, with monster truck driver topping the list at almost every evaluation.  

This face spontaneously appeared the day before Robby turned three, stuck around for about one month, and has since gone.  Don't know what inspired it, don't know why it left.  (Maybe it has something to do with wanting to drive a monster truck)  This is often how I feel when I try to logic through the behavior of a three year old.  It did make me smile though.  

After enjoying a lovely breakfast in bed (crib) with Kate, Robby got to bust through his door in rare, NFL-celebratory fashion, through the crepe paper.  

After a energy zapping morning Robby needed to refuel and replenish those electrolytes. Following the footsteps of many great athletes, Robby prefers to hydrate with pickle juice.  

Happy day for a little man, 3 years of age.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Eat a Hot Dog and other Helpful Hints

How to Eat a Hot Dog

1. Paint your face like a tiger
2. Gather sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, and a cooked hot dog.
3. Take a bite of sauerkraut (do not swallow)
4. Dip hot dog in mustard, take a bite of hot dog. Chew all items together.
5. Repeat.

PS This kid also likes to drink vinegar.

How to Dance in Your First Ballet Recital

1.  Smile!  
2.  Look at your parents often, smiling and waving.  
3.  Make sure your leotard, leggings, hair piece and tights match with your friends.  
4.  During the recital, do not let the girl next to you miss her cue.  Be sure to prompt her, very overtly, on any cue she may be missing.

5.  Remember, a lady curtsies. 
6. AND, no matter the distraction, keep your eyes on the audience.

How to Make Flubber

1.  Mix glue and water.  Be sure to splash this mixture all over the table.
2.  Mix borax and water.  DO NOT touch this mixture under penalty of your mother's dangerous glance.
3.  Add the two mixtures together, with some blue food coloring.
4.  Watch it congeal and turn semi-solid.  Be sure to add some really great oohs and ahhhs at the wonder of this transformation from liquid to slime.

How to Have a Proper Tea Party

1.  Invite your best friends
2.  Set a beautiful table
3. Adorn your best friends in your fanciest dress-ups
4.  Eat flower shaped sandwiches and crack jacks
5.  If you do not want a tea party menu item, use this phrase,  "No thank you, it is not to my liking."

How to Have a Proper Foot Race

1. Enlist an amazing father to come up with the idea.
2.  Help your father draw a starting line
3.  Invite your neighbor friends to join
4.  Fire a starting gun to indicate the beginning of the race.  
5.  No, don't get a gun.  Just joking.
6.  Run your fastest to the end of the cul-de-sac while yelling or screaming.
7.  Be sure someone falls down.  Recover quickly.
8. Repeat.

How to Spend a Friday Afternoon

1.  Invite your Dad's fifth grade teacher over.
2.  Thank her for the huge bags of gifts she brings for you and your family.
3.  Listen to all the stories about how smart, talented, and wonderful your dad was in fifth grade
4.  Look at pictures she brought of your dad winning a writing contest, meeting an FBI agent, and putting on a play.

How to Celebrate Father's Day Prematurely Because Your Dad is Gone on the Real Day

1. Make your Dad's favorite meal.  Sausage, peppers, and onions.
2. Dress up in your fanciest attire.
3. Drink grape juice from your loveliest and most fragile goblets.
4. Light the candles.
5. Tell him what you love most about him
6. Eat strawberry shortcake
7.  Fall asleep watching Lassie together with your dad.

How to Make Your Wife Truly Happy

1. Hang hooks in the closet.
2. Hang your backpack up on the hooks.
3. Never put your backpack on the floor in front of the door.
4.  Happy wife.

How to Jump on your Bed

1. Hang a banner, that your Grammy made, over your bed with your name on it.
2. Climb in your crib and jump very high.

How to Pose for the Camera as a Princess

1.  Fully extend the wrist away from the body
2. Extend arm slightly away from the torso.
3. Flex the knee to a 45 degree angle.
4. Smile

5.  Enlist other princesses to pose with you.

6.  Finally, solicit your local prince to pose and, if luck is on your side, he may agree. 

How to Wrestle with your Dad

1. Go over the ground rules about wrestling with no tears. (ha, ha)
2. Jump on your dad.
3.  Try to get away from your Dad.
4.  Come back for more.
5.  End wrestling before someone has tears.  (ha, ha)

How to Travel to Montana

1. Get you Amtrak hat

2.  Look out the window of your Amtrak train.
3.  Walk all over the train.
4.  Go to the viewing car.
5.  Order a delicious microwave pizza
6.  Burn your mouth on the pizza
7.  Repeat steps 3-4.
8.  Watch Mulan on the iPad with your headphones band-aided to your ear
9.  Fall asleep.
10.  Arrive in Montana the next morning.

How to Enjoy Life

1.  Go to Montana
2.  Hike Trail of the Cedars.  Smell the singular fragrance of a cedar forest.  Breathe deep.
3.  Pose for a picture by Avalanche Creek.  Make your stinkiest face.

4.  Pose by Avalanche Creek.  Make your loveliest face.

5.  Hug your Grandma and Grandpa close.

6.  Go down the laundry chute. With the approval and help of your grandma.

7.  Jump on the trampoline with your grandma and grandpa in the most beautiful yard on earth.

8.  Eat a huge lollipop.

9.  Continue to eat the huge lollipop next to your Great Grandma and Grandma

11.  Drink a volcano root beer.
12.  Continue eating your giant lollipop.

How to Plant a Garden

1.  Ask your husband to build you garden boxes.  He will do an amazing job.
2.  Have 3 yards of dirt delivered to your house.
3.  Borrow a shovel and use your recycling bin as a wheelbarrow.
4.  Enlist the hardest workers you know to level the boxes, haul the dirt from your driveway to your boxes, and then clean up the huge mess.
5.  Feed them lunch and say thank you 100 times.

6.  Plant the seeds
7.  Enjoy your garden.