Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Snap Crackle Pop

Hubby and I are not really into trends -- well, as I type that I'm wondering how honest of a statement it is because Hubby if VERY into new technology... possibly even trendy technology... but I digress.

Generally speaking, Hubby and I are not into trends -- ESPECIALLY fashion trends.  We each have figured out what sort of look/wardrobe that we have decided to wear on a daily basis and that's not likely to change regardless of what anyone -- from VOGUE to CABELA's says is "in."  If I had to describe our combined style in one word -- everything from casual clothes, to work clothes, to fancy clothes, to hairstyles, I would choose CLASSIC.

I know, when you think of two thirty-something educators with three kids two and under in Colorado, you think Fashion Hot Spot... but really we keep it simple and classic.

Hubby and I occasionally notice trends in style and/or fashion if for no other reason than we work with middle schools, but we remain pretty oblivious.

One fad that has not escaped our notice are recent men's hair cuts that are sort of clean cut... but with a little too much hair.  The hair looks as though it is a classic gentleman's hair cut... but then there's this puff of a little too much hair that has to be styled.  John Luke Robertson had this sort of hair cut for his wedding... and some of the recent men on The Bachelorette are sporting similar styles.

Whenever I see this kind of hair cut it really makes me want to eat some rice krispies... because I think this haircut originated with Snap Crackle and Pop.

Can you see the similarities?

I seriously laugh every time I see one of these haircuts on a guy because their head just becomes a Snap Crackle Pop cartoon to me.


Monday, May 30, 2016

From Our Windows

I'm not exactly sure how much sound travels out of our bedroom windows.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, we keep our windows cracked or open during the night, and sometimes during the day.  Sometimes our room is loud with crying babies -- usually in the minutes right before they are fed -- and sometimes at 4:00am.  I'm not sure if sounds of crying come from our windows.

In addition to the occasional cries, currently, Tracey has developed a very loud laugh.  When there is something she finds hilarious... she laughs very loudly and for a long time.  I'm not sure if sounds of laughter come from our windows.

Sometimes... some beautiful times, our whole family plays on our big bed.  The babies are cooing and giggling, and Tracey is climbing and jumping and laughing, and Hubby and I are just trying to keep up with the fun.  There is singing and laughing and the same games over and over and over again.  There is a little monkey named Tracey jumping on the bed or an acrobat named Tracey climbing and falling.  There are three little babies when Tracey decides she is a baby too.  There are pillow fights and tickling and big giant hugs, and sweet kisses and Bible stories.  I'm not sure if sounds of joy come from our windows.

All of these sounds are free to come through our windows because servicemen for generations have given their lives to keep America free.  Hubby and I were free to leave our hometowns, pursue educations in the fields of our choosing, take jobs wherever we chose, fall in love with one another, marry each other when and in the place of our choosing... with a huge celebration surrounded by our family and friends.  Then we were free to settle wherever we wanted, begin a family when we desired to do so, raise as many children as the Lord blesses us with, and buy our own home.  And sounds probably travel out our bedroom windows - sounds of crying, sounds of laughter, and sounds of silly joy.

It seems so wrong that on a weekend that we remember the heroes who have given their lives protecting our freedoms, and remember the families they left behind, that my family plays and laughs and giggles together... and then I remember that those who died did so that many families, including mine, and for generations previous and future can play and laugh and giggle together in freedom.

Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cooking Show

Hubby and I enjoy different types of cooking shows... many are cooking competitions.

I think I have a new pitch for a competitive cooking show on The Food Network.

You must make dinner for a toddler and two adults with two babies in your arms.  Howard and Caroline have both been more clingy than usual lately, which inspired my idea.  However you hold the two babies is up to you -- sling, backpack, wrap... but both babies have to be on your person, and not crying while you cook.

Also, the dinner you make for the toddler has to be eaten by the toddler -- so it has to be tasty, fun, and pretty enough for her consumption.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Just because the toddler loved something yesterday does not mean she will eat it today
  • Points will be deducted if either of the babies are burned, jostled, or startled in your cooking process
  • Extra points will be awarded if you do not give the toddler a hotdog for dinner 
  • Unexpected challenges might include, but are not limited to the doorbell ringing at any moment sending the dog into fits of protective barking (which will scare both babies and the todder), your phone ringing at any time, the babies blowing out a messy diaper at any time, or the toddler spilling foor or drink either accidentally or purposefully...
Let the competition begin...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Not Surprising

I guess its not surprising that when our Sweet Caroline starts her morning like this...

She winds up feeling like this... 

 Her brother and sister were just so excited to be awake that they didn't understand why she still wanted to sleep... and so they woke her up (I think Tracey was literally saying "Wake up Airoline" when the top picture was taken)... and then Mama snapped a picture.  Life is tough when you're so little and so loved.

Someday I will get a picture of all three smiling.

Then, someday I will get a family picture of ALL of us smiling.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Do you think Howard and Caroline laid this way in my womb?

... Not quite the same view... but similar


Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Power of Motherhood

Its no secret that I'm an emotional person.  If you've followed this blog with any regularity you've probably noticed this for yourself.

I'm not sure if it goes along with my being emotional or if its my artistic nature (music major in college) but I have a tendency to make some silly things out to be much deeper than intended.

Now that I am home with my little ones most of the time, sometimes the things to which I am applying deeper meaning are made for children.

For example, The Lion Guard.

If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have had no idea what The Lion Guard was.  If you had told me that it is a show that airs on the Disney Channel, I would have said, "Are you sure you don't mean The Lion King?"

But no, The Lion Guard is for the next generation and it is about Simba's son.  He and a group of other animals are the Lion Guard who sort of save the day in the pride lands.  They work together to keep the peace sort of like a police force.

I have always loved the music of The Lion King -- both the Disney movie, and the Broadway show has phenomenal music and the beat and the melodic and harmonic themes have always struck a very poignant cord in me.

It should not surprise me then that the opening credits to The Lion Guard impress me every time I see them.  If Tracey is watching the show, I literally stop what I am doing to watch the minute of opening credits if at all possible.

The credits has great music and shows each of the animal members of the Lion Guard participating in policing the Sahara.  Then, the final scene is the whole Lion Guard -- all six or so of them gathered on Pride Rock, overlooking the Pride Lands with watchful eyes over the ground below... and then the lion (Simba's son) roars...

And when this little lion cub roars, all of the clouds become lions and roar with him.

That is the magic of the lion guard... when the cub needs them, the power of his lion forefathers help them.

Every time I see these opening credits, I see the power of motherhood.  I'm not sure how the Disney channel would feel about this... or how the little boy who plays the voice of the lion cub would feel about my symbolism... but this opening segment is the perfect representation of motherhood.

Depending on the mother, she might not appear all that tough.  She appear be small, or plump, or tired, or a little dazed... but her ever watchful eyes are always on her children... and when her children need her, she calls forth the power of all mothers that have gone before her.  The adrenaline and strength that a mother calls forth when the situation warrants it is the most powerful force in the world... just like The Lion Guard.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I've Decided...

I've decided that when a pink baseball hat is worn sideways on my son... 
it looks masculine.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Praying For My Children

I saw this online and I really liked it...
How To Pray For My Children

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good Boy

Our Lloydey is a really great dog.

He is such a good member of our family and so eager to please.  He loves being a part of our pack, and the larger our pack gets, he happier he seems to be about it.

He and Tracey are not best friends, but she loves to play with him, and he handles her amazingly well.  Anytime she's playing with him, I try to be right there to remind her to be gentle with Lloydey... but there are inevitably moments when she interacts with him without my watchful eye, and Lloyd is such a wonderful dog for her two-year-old nature.  He lets her be a, sometimes rough two-year-old... and when he's had enough, he walks away.  Plain and simple.  Today I walked into her room, and she was the doctor examining Lloyd's eyes... and by examining, I mean, poor Lloydey, several times, was poked in the eye before I was able to see what was happening and let Tracey know that that is not how we touch Lloydey and we never poke anyone's eye.

We used to say that we had a dog that never barks... because he never did.  He would bark when someone knocked on our door and over nothing else.  He would not bark to be let out to use the restroom, he would not bark at other dogs, he would not bark at us when we got home from work, he would not bark to be let in the house, and he would even not bark when something hurt him, like a thorn in his foot.  We felt very fortunate because we didn't want a dog who constantly barked just to hear himself talk... but he barked when the situation warranted it.  Now, Lloyd barks a little more.

We can't say that he doesn't bark, because now he does, at select things -- still when he thinks the situation warrants barking.

He still barks like crazy when someone knocks at our door... when he seems someone in our yard... and sometimes just when a big truck drives by our house.

But, he still rarely gets in verbal altercations with other dogs, even when other dogs are barking at him.  It happens once in blue moon that Lloyd will bark back, but it is very rare, and I never really knew what the deciding factor was as to weather Lloyd would respond to a barking dog or not... until recently.
Our backyard has a fence around it... and the fence divides property between four neighboring houses, two of which have dogs.  So Lloyd and neighbors dogs can literally have conversations, if they so choose, on either side of a flimsy domestic fence.

One of our neighbors has three dogs, and those three do their fair share of barking throughout the day.  Most of the time... I'd say over 99% of the time, Lloyd lets them do their barking and he does not so much as bat an eye toward that side of the yard.  He lets them do their barking, and he is content with us in the house or the yard.  The fence is solid so the dogs cannot stick noses or claws, or even see each other through the fence, and Lloyd almost exclusively ignores the barking dogs next door.

A few weeks ago, I was outside with Tracey, and we were outside for probably 45 minutes or so during which time the neighboring dogs were sporadically barking at us through the fence.  Based on the barks, they sounded like two small yippy dogs, and one big fierce dog.  We all pretty much ignored the dogs the whole time we were out there.  I think I might have said a few times, "Knock it off guys, you're okay," to the dogs in the vain hope that it would get them to stop barking at us, playing in our own yard.

Then, after playing outside for more than 30 minutes, all of a sudden, Lloyd started jumping up on our side of the fence with his VERY ferocious bark, with the hair standing up on the back of his neck directly across from the big dog of the neighbors.  It literally sounded like a dog fight -- and who knows, maybe it would have been had the fence not been there.

Not wanting our dog to bother anyone by barking, and not wanting Lloyd involved in an altercation with any dog -- through a fence or not, I immediately called Lloyd off and decided we all needed a little space from the neighbor's dogs, and we went inside.  It was only later that I realized what I think set Lloyd off.

For 30 minutes these dogs had been barking at us through the fence and Lloyd had completely ignored them.  So what caused him to suddenly respond and engage them?

Well, after 30 minutes of entertainment in our yard with balls and her wagon and her tricycle, the sound of the little yippy yappy dog through the fence was too much for Tracey, and she began to wander over to that side of our yard and talk to the little dog.  Even though she couldn't see the little dog (or the big angry dog) through the fence, our little animal-loving Tracey has never in her life had reason to fear a dog... and so she fears no dog, regardless of how ferocious-sounding their bark (which is both a blessing and a curse).

It took me a few hours to piece it together... but only when Tracey got near that fence with the barking dogs did Lloyd lunge his body at that fence and bark and growl and, I presume, let those dogs know, in no uncertain terms, that this little girl who was talking to them was not alone, and he was over here... so back off.

I had been trying to get Tracey to come away from the fence because it wasn't a place to play, but her sweet two-year-old self could not understand why she couldn't see the dog on the other side... and her sweet animal-loving two-year-old self could not begin to imagine why any dog on the other side of the fence wouldn't love to meet her.  When Lloyd and the neighboring dog engaged each other, it helped me get her away from the fence... and then inside.

I didn't fully realize it at the time, but what a wonderful dog we have.

I almost still feel like I can say, "He really doesn't bark... unless there is a reason," because there was a definitely a reason to bark and growl at that other dog and Lloyd knows it and now I know it -- Tracey was getting too close to this situation.

A hero, a protector does not walk around every day looking for a fight... he works to keep the peace.  But when a fight is warranted... when an innocent little girl who cannot imagine a world where any dog would not be thrilled to meet her and let her use her toy stethoscope to listen to his heart beat (as Lloyd allows her to do) approaches a dog not quite so nice... that is when a hero steps up.  Lloyd succeeded in turning the attention of all neighboring dogs to him, at a different part of the fence than where Tracey was standing, and let everyone know that she was not alone on our side.

We have such a good boy.