Little Explorer

This week we celebrated 20 glorious months since the arrival of our sweet girl.
I can't imagine life as it was before. None of us can.
She is so full of wonder and curiosity.


She is just so loving and affectionate.
Out of nowhere she will come up to us throughout the day just to kiss our hands or hug our arms and legs.
She'll break out into the Barney I Love You Song when we tell her we love her.
In the morning when I'm getting ready for work she stands on a little footstool next to my makeup table and hands me my makeup; kissing my hand with the delivery of each item.

She puts my shoes by the door, brings me my keys, my water and cell phone but then she furrows her brow realizing that once I have all these items that its time for me to go...and then the waterworks begin.

It breaks my heart to leave her but she and I both know she's in the best hands with Nana who spoils her like crazy!



Project Volcano

WonderBoy's 4th Grade Science Project was due this week.

It's a good thing that I review WonderBoy's assignment book and search his backpack with an iron fist fine tooth comb because left to his own devices, he'd have told me the night before the project was due that it had to be done...or worse, he'd have forgotten about it altogether.

Since I saw the assignment I was up nights with flashbacks of my own 4th grade (mis)adventures and I kept replaying the deadline in my head over and over again. The stress of the deadling trumped all of the deadlines I had at work and I could think of nothing else. It just had to end. So, the weekend before last I insisted that WonderBoy start and finish the project. He darned near had a nervous breakdown as to how I could require such a thing so far from the actual deadline.

Somehow, I as usual won the argument. We went over all the instructions line by line and lemme tell ya' there were plenty of ways you could lose points if those directions weren't followed precisely! WonderBoy got to choose what he wanted to create involving the module they just completed about the mighty volcano. He could make a poster or a diorama (a.k.a. a shadowbox for those of us who remember when there wasn't a fancy name for it) but he had to use color, create interest, incorporate all the main parts of the volcano, label those parts, answer one of 8 topic questions and base the project theme on that question AND put his name in the lower right hand corner (an old teacher's trick old as the hills of my own youth in which teachers always subtract points if the students don't following directions)

We only had a tiny shoebox that Big Foot's Sweetie Pie's new sandals came in. The shoebox really was tiny, though, by WonderBoy's standards and he was not impressed with the magnitude and potential impact that my boring "mom idea" of using that tiny shoebox might have. He woefully stared at the large, rectangular hunk of green florists' oasis, the brown tempera paint, the 3 pack glitter glue and the lonely piece of scrapbook paper that we had picked up at the dollar store and hung his head. Oh, the poor fella looked so downtrodden, he of little faith!

He kept trying to make his case to me that the project wasn't due for another week and that is was painfully unfair that he was spending his Sunday working on it so far in advance. He painted a pathetic picture of himself stuck inside with his mother as the other kids who were out running and jumping somewhere around town free from such worries as working on their project so far from the due date. I told him that I was LOSING SLEEP over this project and it just had to be completed or I was certainly going to lose what was left of my mind.
Luckily, WonderBoy took me seriously. It may have been that steely look in my eyes and that clump of my hair in my hands from pulling it out...but I can't be certain.

We carved up the oasis, lined the box and covered the outside with black construction paper. WonderBoy wasn't happy. He sighed heavily (just enough to annoy me) as he grabbed his glue stick and said it would never work and anyway the box was way too small. Somewhere between his painting the oasis "volcano" brown on a paper plate, chipping away at the oasis "rocks" left behind from the carving and painting them brown too to serve as bits of volcanic rock and making the ash cloud from some cotton...WonderBoy began getting very excited. It was fun to see the look on his face when he actually saw that his work was taking shape and yielding a very fun project that he could be proud of.

The pinnacle moment for him was when he got to use the 3 colors of glitter glue for his own interpretation of hot lava and fire and poked the toothpick flags into his homemade rocks.
Heck, we were both having so much fun that neither of us even noticed that Sweetie Pie had opened the top of the Elm*r's Glue and dumped it on her head (no, I am not kidding....I wish I were) and then proceeded to wipe her little white glue hands on the only upholstered item in the room. (And, no, I don't have pictures of that since it's difficult to scream hysterically, grab the child, grab a cloth, protect the project from tumbling off the table and hold a camera steady all the while making sure the metering is right and the perfect composition has been achieved)

By the time the afternoon was over, WonderBoy couldn't contain himself. He was so proud of his work and said those 6 little words that every mother longs to hear; "You know, Mom...you were right."
A veritable symphony for my ears!



Turns out WonderBoy went to school the next day and chatted it up so much to his Science teacher that she emailed me midday to tell me about his exuberance and to have him bring it in early, 'magine that!
And I've been sleeping like a baby ever since!


Turkey Dinner

When they got the memo that the Memorial Day menu consisted of filet mignon on the grill, the natives showed up and showed off!


Nothing like dinner walking right to your table, huh?
I wonder if they'll be quite so brazen in November?!


Mr. Shirley Temple

WonderBoy has a "usual".
He orders a Shirley Temple wherever we go.
Sometimes they have them, sometimes they don't, but he doesn't hesitate to at least try. He even gets me to make them at home on special occasions.
Oh, and is he ever a connoisseur of the great syrupy youth beverage that has stood the test of time.
Upon first sip he always gives us that seal of approval look when the bartender has created the perfect concoction.

Shirley Temple

My brother and I always favored the Shirley Temple and always ordered a round or two when we went out to eat; extra maraschino cherries please!
I remember my father trying to get my brother to call his a Roy Rogers instead of a Shirley Temple.
Even though it was the EXACT same thing, it just didn't taste the same when he called it a Roy Rogers...so it was back to Shirley Temple for him.
WonderBoy doesn't buy the whole Roy Rogers thing either. He doesn't even know who Trigger was so I'm not pushing it.
Well, yesterday WonderBoy introduced his sister to his "usual" and we immediately had another believer in the sheer, sugary tastin' power of that infamous "cotton candy in a glass" beverage.

Shirley Temple II

All that sugar ensured they were both up for HOURS past their bedtimes! Oh well.


WonderBoy's Favorite Pursuits

WonderBoy Camo
WonderBoy just loves anything camoflage or army.
He’ll play with his army men for hours on end creating elaborate battle scenes that can span a room or two, may require the dismantling of sofa cushions or the rolling up of carpets and always require keeping Sweetie Pie far away from the scene.
He'll call me in every few minutes to survey whether I can tell who the good guys are, who the bad guys are or who won the battle.
Often I’ll be cooking, folding laundry or working on the computer and I’ll turn around with a start to find that I am being “guarded” by one of his men.


Anyone who knows WonderBoy knows that staying focused on one thing or sitting still in one place just isn’t his strong suit (actually, that’s putting it mildly as normal for him is a state of perpetual motion) but when it comes to his army men…well, he gets lost in fantasy, like countless generations of little boys before him.

(Being that he is also a huge Star Wars fan, I do spy the occasional stray Clone Trooper, Chicken Walker or Battle Droid thrown into the battle mix when I'm called to assess, however, I suspend my disbelief as this is, after all, his fantasy and who can beat the lasers those guys wield!)

These are the moments I will always cherish... watching my little boy still revel in chasing little boy pursuits!


Little Ladies

Sweetie Pie and Ysa share a very special connection.
They were born on the very same day just hours apart 19 months ago.
Ysa's Nana and I became friends from the day I began my new job 2 years ago. I passed an ultrasound photo on her office wall that looked almost identical to the one I had had earlier that week. She told me that it was a picture of her new granddaughter.
We compared notes and realized that our babies were due on the same day.
Since then we've shared many wonderful moments and whether we are together or apart...I always know she's right there for me whenever I need her with her unique brand of lovin' and her belief in me.

Her presence in my life is very special and it looks like our little ladies are well on their way to enjoying the same wonderful gift of friendship!
(Looking at these photos its no wonder those ultrasounds looked so much alike!)
(Click on the "play" button then click on the bottom right icon to make the images full screen)


Happy Mother's Day

Here's hoping you all remember to stop and smell the flowers today!



WonderBoy's 10th Birthday

I finally had a chance to sort through the photos of WonderBoy's birthday party.  We decided to surprise him with 10 of his favorite things along with a few special gifts that he had on his wish list.  He was thrilled!

The weather was on our side that day and even bordered on a bit too nice since it hit a record high 92 degrees by the time the party started.  We all enjoyed spending some outside on our patio after a long winter cooped up inside.  We made mini roadside sliders on the grill, mini mac and cheese and bite sized pizzas along with lots of other goodies!   

For dessert WonderBoy helped create a giant cupcake and lots of little ones (all chocolate, of course) for our guests...oh, and how could I forget....we turned that great big ol' Easter bunny into the most perfect chocolate covered strawberries ever!