Friday, September 23, 2011

Video Friday-Baby Beethoven

I think Robbie is our most musically inclined child. Every day, two or three times a day, he climbs up on the bench and "practices piano" with Padyn's piano books. I'm amazed at how gentle on the keys he is. Very rarely does he bang. Who knows what he will become.

Happy Friday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later...

I've been thinking all day about what to post today, the 10th anniversary of September 11th. It's a day that personally changed our lives, though not as drastically or painfully as it changed many others. Memories are clear, but words are difficult to come by. My prayers are always the same on this day...peace and comfort for those who lost loved ones, wisdom for our leaders, safety for our men and women in uniform, continual healing and unity for our nation. But to speak of the day, or look at images from 10 years ago...that's pretty challenging. I still choke up just thinking about it.

So, I think I will just extend my thanks to two groups of people I saw today, each helping others remember this day but in very different ways...

Thank you, flag waver in the East Bay on the crossing over 680. Thank you for marking the day for those who may have forgotten what should always cause reflection.

And thank you protesters in the Valley on the crossing over 80. Thank you and your mean-spirited sign for reminding us that this great country we live in is still a place where you are allowed to voice your opinion. Even when it is a hurtful kick in the stomach to everyone who lost someone 10 years ago. Even when it disparages the very land you call home.

Never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Boy Bed

Tonight is the first night Robbie is sleeping in his new "Big Boy Dinco Car" bed. It's a temporary solution until I figure out what I want to do with his room, furniture, bed, etc. And I wasn't in any rush to take him out of his crib-he doesn't try to climb in or out or anything. In fact, my original plan was to leave him in his crib as long as humanly possible. But a friend was getting rid of this bed, so I took it while I could. And since it was making my real car sleep out in the driveway while it took up space in the garage, we decided it should just be in Robbie's room instead.

I didn't think he would fall asleep so fast or willingly tonight, but look at that. Not even 45 minutes after I left him. I guess cars really do have a magically qualities for this boy. (Oh, do you see the navy blue bag with the red strap next to him? That's his "Car Backpack." Many of his matchbox cars, mainly the ones from the Cars movie, are in there. He demands to sleep with it these days. Just further support of my theory.) Night night, Buddy. We'll see how this all plays out in the morning...

Friday, September 09, 2011

Photo Friday-Trailblazers

Over the Labor Day weekend, we did our annual camping trip with several fabulous friends and our hordes of children. This year, we trekked up to Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Shasta area of northern California. This was the first time our family had been to this majestic park. We felt relatively safe, as this volcano has not erupted for almost 100 years...

On Saturday morning, the 6 adults that had made it to camp by that time took our 9 children on a 3 mile round trip hike to Bumpass Hell, where many mud pots and boiling ponds smelling strongly of sulfur fascinate the visitor. Strange name, I know. Apparently it was named after a hiker who severely burned his leg after falling into one of the boiling pools. You can Google it. But the important part is, my children did it! Yes...there was lots and lots of whining. And Robbie fell asleep in the backpack on the return trip. But the number of times they got to slide down snow covered hills made up for it. Here are some photos from our hike...

This sign was posted in not just one, but two places at the beginning of the 1.5 mile trail. Why would this encourage you to hike? Of course, I only took a picture of it and we still did the hike...

This is the opposite direction from that sign...and yes. That is snow. But what do you expect at 8000 ft?

I was most proud of Kate on this day. I really wasn't sure she would make it all the way to the mud pots, let alone back to the car. It was slow going in a few spots, and I had to bribe her with the hope of snacks, but she was a willing participant early on.

We heard almost zero complaining from Padyn. I'm not sure if it was peer pressure or if she just enjoys hiking as much as I do. Either way, she helped make it an enjoyable morning.

There were several places that we were distracted from our destination....

When we arrived at the boiling ponds and mud pots, the children were a bit disgusted by the smell. Can you see them all holding their noses? But after about 10 minutes, we were all used to it and eagerly ate our snack right next to a very stinky pond.Trailblazers...

On the hike back, the kids decided to take a slight detour and do some butt sledding down the snow covered hill. I think this was Kate's favorite part of the weekend.
Bye bye Bumpass Hell....

This coming weekend might not be as adventurous as our last one, but we will try to enjoy it anyway.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Grammatical Forms

You know what every two year old's favorite word is, right? MINE. And Robbie is no exception. Everything is MINE. Mommy's iTouch, Katelyn's markers, Padyn's shoes...and usually when you say, "Is that yours, Robbie?" he responds with, "NO! MINE!"

But not today. Today he started moving into the next level of language proficiency.

I let him play with my iTouch, or "Chica" as he so affectionately calls it, while I was helping the girls get ready for bed. After a brief struggle which almost involved wrestling him out of the rocking chair, I managed to take the iTouch out of his hand and convince him it was time to read a book. As I put the device in my pocket, he looked longingly at it, then up and me and said, very clearly, "Yours."

Such a big boy he is becoming!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Such a Good Big Sister

And she only had to bribe him with Cars to get him to lie down with her.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Piano Man

What makes the piano more melodious? Cars, of course!