Friday, December 12, 2014

Latest installment of "Mary joins the 21st century"--video uploads from phone to YouTube and then to Blogger. 

The boys have been home from school with fevers this week but rallied for their piano recital tonight. 

We weren't in a good spot for video at the recital but ended up with a better performance at home afterward. Not much energy for practice this week-- lots of moaning in the couch. 

We are hoping we've turned a corner and will return to regular schedules next week. Then of course there's winter break, so I guess we won't really have routine again until the new year. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

I just upgraded to an iPhone so this is my inaugural attempt at mobile blogging. Here are the boys decorating Will's tree. 
Daniel was singing "you better watch out you better not cry" as he was hanging ornaments but I'm not ready for mobile video editing. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

While visiting my parents this weekend we picked up a treasure cache bequeathed to the boys from my aunt and uncle as they prepared for retirement in Florida. We tucked them into the trunk of the car without telling the boys and not entirely sure what it all contained. We happened to notice a Millennium Falcon peeking out of one bag.

We arrived home last night to two inches of snow but unfortunately sub-zero windchill forcing us to stay inside today. So before I went to pick up the boys from school, I left the bag in the middle of the living room to be discovered upon our return:

It has been brought to my attention that this video does not display on iPads and perhaps other devices. I have no explanation as YouTube and Blogger are both Google products. You should be able to watch the Star Wars glee here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I recently found myself ranting about how much I hated a certain type of Facebook post--the ones where parents share pictures of their kids and then bemoan their advancing age with woe. "Oh, I can't believe how big she is!" Or post an old picture and yearn for the child to be that small again. I've always found it just a little too contrived and precious, but this day about two weeks ago, I really felt anger, which is a little odd and certainly uncalled for. But it stayed in my head a few days and came out as this

Happy 10th birthday, Will. You continue to be a gift in my life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The boys started bickering as soon as they saw each other after school and by about 4 p.m. I'd had enough. I told them they were not allowed to talk to each other until we left at 5:15 for an event at the school. Of course, as soon as something is forbidden it's the only thing they want to do, but I stood my ground. Hoping for silence, I was rewarded with giggles as Edward prepared this masterpiece

And then Daniel said, "Will you make a copy on the printer so I can cross out 'little' and write 'big?'" Edward found this to be a major affront and later in the evening tried to take Daniel's sign down. I wouldn't let him. Then he said "I'll put an "RM" on it. Or is it "RT?" His grasp of trademark/copyright is a bit shaky.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Deep thoughts with Daniel (at bedtime, of course.)

"Mom, is it actually possible to have hearts or dollar signs in your eyes instead of pupils?"

Think someone's seen a few too many cartoons lately? At least they're not all on TV.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

All kids think the world revolves around them, but lately our kids have had pretty good reason to believe it.

Over the summer, our Downtown Association sponsored a Where's Waldo contest, in which people (kids) were invited to search in downtown stores for a cardboard cut-out of the character and collect a card from each store in which they found Waldo. Once you collected 10 cards you could turn them in to one of our book stores to be entered into a drawing for Waldo-related prizes. Our kids so enjoyed the hunt that they ended up collecting cards from 20 stores, resulting in 2 entries each for the drawing. Still, the contest ran for a month and plenty of kids and parents participated. It's not like there were only four entries.

At the end of the contest we got a call that Daniel had won one of the prizes, a small book of Where's Waldo postcards. He was SUPER excited, yet vowed to share with his brother and co-hunter.

Another summer adventure involved Herky On Parade 2, large statues of the Iowa Hawkeye mascot, Herky, all decorated differently and dotting our local landscape. They were on display from May through last week, and John and the boys made it a personal project to visit all of them and get pictures. There were 84 statues. This was quite an effort. I didn't mind because it meant several serene Sunday afternoons to myself while they went searching for Herky.

As the installation was winding down, our local newspaper sponsored a contest--send in a photo of yourself with one of the Herkys and be entered into a drawing for a prize. Again--LOTS of people took lots of pictures with these Herkys all summer long. The boys had to narrow down their favorites to submit--one from John's email and one from mine.
Running scared from Big Foot Herky
Walking dead with Zombie Herky

Wouldn't you know--their Big Foot photo was randomly drawn as the winner. The prize? A set of 12 (TWELVE!) miniature versions of the Herky statues. I suppose I can be thankful they didn't win 12 of the actual statues, or a complete set of 84 minis, but still, these "miniatures" are about a foot tall each. And 12 of them? I tried to explain the concept of eBay to the boys (they retail for $40 each), but nothing doing. They are far more motivated by the prize itself than by any monetary value. So far, they've designated one for John to take to work and one for my office, one for each of their bedrooms and the football Herky for the living room. This last is to be rotated seasonally. We shall see.

And as if that weren't enough, they also were invited to be among the kids throwing out the "first pitch" at the Cedar Rapids Kernels game on Friday night. Our elementary school had a group excursion and part of our package was that we got to designate kids to make a "high five tunnel" for the players entering the field, carry the flag for the national anthem, and throw out the first pitch. I didn't sign us up for any of this, but the day of the game the school secretary called and said no one had signed up and would the boys like to do the pitch? I said sure, but when we arrived at the stadium they were horrified at the prospect and flatly refused. A one-hour rain/lightning delay gave Edward enough time to change his mind and once he saw his brother about to grab the glory, Daniel got right in line. Four or five other kids went first--ballpark birthday kids get the honor as part of the party package. They were older and perhaps had practiced ahead of time. They all fired it straight down to the catcher. Our boys...well, let's just say they helped ensure the catcher was warmed up for anything the pitcher might toss.

We might need to move to a bigger city. These boys have a serious case of Big Fish, Small Pond!