Sunday, June 30, 2013

30. Handwriting

Today, in honor of the "handwriting" prompt, I give you a picture of a pencil that I found in our work room at the office a few weeks ago. I rarely have need for a pencil at work, and apparently no one else uses them often either because this was the ONLY pencil I could find. The only one.
Roll Tide
I was smirking at the fact that the only pencil available to me was an Alabama one and how that would further perpetuate what Luke started last fall with his Roll Tide obsession, when I rolled it over and saw this on the other side.
Weagle, weagle, War... well, you know.

Someone hand wrote the score from Auburn's 2010 victory over Alabama. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how we do football rivalries in the great state of Alabama. Ya'll.
P.S. If I were as hardcore as Wuke Boper would have you believe, I would have taken this pencil straight to the bathroom and scrubbed that blasphemy right off the back of it before sanitizing my hands after touching such uncleanliness. I just took a picture of it instead.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

29. In my bag

If the size of it doesn't give you a clue, the contents definitely scream, "Mom Bag!" 

Inside the Mom Bag
Here is the full inventory of things in my purse that do not belong to me: 1 plastic hammer, 1 carrot bubble necklace, 1 red crayon from Hooters, 1 Wise Man, and 1 plastic man from a Happy Meal.
Be prepared.
They didn't all get in there at one time, of course. It happens gradually as more things are brought out of the house and left on tables and in buggies as we go about our business. It's okay though. My purse is big enough to handle it and you never know when you'll need a little extra distraction while waiting somewhere with children.

Friday, June 28, 2013

28. Red

These are tomatoes from the plants on our back porch. I said I would count it as a success if they bore fruit, and they have, so I guess, technically, it's a success.
Tomato Harvest
They are yummy. However, the plants look pathetic, so I'm not sure we will get any more than the 14 we've picked and the few that are still turning red. I didn't take a picture of the plants because there's no need to document in photographs how truly bad at growing things I am. I think I just don't care enough, or gardening doesn't interest me enough. Something just isn't enough, and their priority assignment is rather low on my list of things that need doing.

I'd like to say that I probably won't try this again next year, but I doubt that's true because I'll forget by next Spring and because the kids are so excited about it. They've been checking on the progress every few days and now that the tomatoes are turning red, they want to pick them and wash them. Ella is good about only picking the really red ones. Man Cub brought me one that was half yellow last night, so we had to have a conversation about waiting a little bit longer until they are red all the way around. We'll see if it took. So, yeah, I'll try to grow tomatoes again next year; I'll even attempt to keep these alive and growing for the rest of this year, but I'm kind of over it.

The citronella plant is big and beautiful, apparently not taking objection to being mostly ignored, but it doesn't do much to keep the mosquitos away. In its defense, we do have supernatural mosquitos around our house - the kind that drink Deep Woods OFF for breakfast.

As for the rest of the vegetables I planted, something is eating them. I spray them, but they are still being eaten. One of the bell pepper plants was full of blooms one day, and all but one were gone the next. The other plant actually has some tiny bell peppers on it right now, so we'll see how they do. Every squash and zucchini blossom gets eaten before it can open. I suspect deer. The okra is pitiful, but hanging in there, and the cucumber has a few tiny cucumbers on it. I don't think those plants get enough sun where they are, either, and that's just going to be an issue in my yard.

I guess this means we'll just continue to buy our vegetables, and of course, off load any fresh ones that those with greener thumbs than mine are trying to place in a good home.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

27. Into the sun

It's cloudy today so I can't take a fresh "into the sun picture" and I don't have time to put together a collage of all the sunglasses wearing we do, so I'm sharing this throwback of Dave and I (and my infamous white Oakleys - no, this is not the same pair I wear today. Yes, I do need to update my sunglasses style, and I'll do that just as soon as the perfectly good pair I have now breaks. I have been completely spoiled by good sunglasses.).

This is from 10 years ago. We left the day after Christmas and drove to Savannah to spend a few days because we had both just read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt) and we needed to see the city for ourselves. We fell in love with it, and one day we'll go back and stay in a nice hotel or bed and breakfast in the heart of the historic district, but we couldn't afford that back then. It didn't matter, though. We spent our money on good food and we explored the city. We loved it so much that we had plans to name our daughter Savannah, should we have a daughter one day. Time changed that, but it is still one of my favorite adventures with him.

I keep this picture pinned on my cube wall at work.
At the top of the Tybee Island lighthouse.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

26. Empty

Is that what I'm filling their heads with when I turn on Disney Jr. in the morning because it's ten minutes after six and I've already heard the whiny, demanding, "Mommy, find my football!" enough times to make my eye twitch?

I hope not. I don't know how I'd ever get out the door or cook supper if I couldn't instantly induce a trance-like calm first thing in the morning and on the evenings when the witching hour strikes. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ella's 5th Birthday

It’s June 25th, the day she’s been waiting on for at least 6 months, her birthday. The party happened over the weekend, but today is the day that she is actually 5 years old. I wonder what all she imagines that to mean?

Ella has become such a responsible, self-sufficient kid. So much so that I sometimes forget that she is just 5, not 12. I have to remember that just because she isn't demanding my time like she did when she was younger (like her brother does now), doesn't mean she does not need me to spend the time. She still loves to be read to, she can sit in her room and play Barbies or Fairies or Little Princesses for hours at a time. She still teaches her imaginary classes – school sometimes, but mostly gymnastics and dance these days.

She and Luke have started playing more and more games together. Her increasing patience with him and her willingness to accommodate his lingering toddler-ness amaze me. Now, instead of being mad when he is melting down in the evening, she makes comments like, “He’s having a rough night, isn’t he?” She tries to distract him or make him feel better when he’s upset. It’s a beautiful thing.

She seems to have set a few goals for herself for this summer, and she’s been working hard on all of them.

1. Learn to swim. We signed her up for lessons, which she loved, and she hasn't used floaties since her lessons ended. She's not strong enough yet to pass a swim test, but she's getting there quickly - especially if we just leave her alone and let her practice without instruction.

2. Learn to read. She often selects books that are way too young for her because she wants to study the words as we read, not the story. She has started recognizing printed words that she learned to spell aloud. I first realized this when she told me the binder that the gymnastics coach carries around says “love”. When we talked about how she knew that and that she was starting to read, she started listing off the other words she knows – a lot of them from her chore charts that she looks at every day. I've also been finding her using the VTech V.Reader a lot lately, and even playing the word games that go with the stories.

3. Practice writing. I made some lined paper like you get out of a writing tablet and put a stack of it in her school drawer (that’s where she keeps her teaching supplies), and she frequently gets a piece and practices her letters and numbers. The numbers are the trickiest, so she’s been working on them a lot, but she likes to write people’s names, too.

She is tired of gymnastics, but she still loves soccer and plans to play again in the fall.

A friend suggested we take her to eat lunch at the school this summer so she can get accustomed to the lunchroom, so Grandmother has been taking them a few days a week. Ella has declared the school lunch to be “the best food ever”. I would take that personally, but I know she’s excited about eating lunch at school like a big kid. Unfortunately, the elementary school is under construction for the summer, so they have to eat at the high school, but she’s still getting the lunch line, food tray, serve yourself, open your own milk carton and ketchup packet experience. And she has learned about the noise, and the fact that not every food service establishment has ranch dressing for your every whim. Also, she has decided that she will not be taking her lunch to school next year, so, whoop! She’s been drinking cow’s milk, too. I think that might be the best part about the whole deal for her. The only drink choice is cow’s milk. She loves it so much and she hasn’t really gotten to drink it since she was two. I told her she could try it for a while and see how it goes, and so far she hasn’t had any extra snot or eczema so I'm hoping she's outgrowing that allergy.

We pray with her every night and I've recently been caught off guard by the thoughtfulness of some of her requests.

Of all of us, she has put the most things in our Good Things Jar.

When I first imagined myself with children, I couldn’t think past the baby stage. I was truly nervous about having kids – not babies, but actual kids. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, or that I just wouldn’t like them as much as I liked babies. I just couldn’t think past the first couple of years to figure out how the kid thing would work. Do you know what happened? She changed from a baby to a kid before my very eyes without me even realizing it was happening, and she’s a pretty cool kid. She’s a kid I want read to and talk to and cuddle up on the couch with. She makes me laugh and she makes me think, and I’m so thankful that God put such an amazing person in my care. I am humbled by the beautiful person she is becoming.

Cake and ice cream for breakfast.

Monday, June 24, 2013

24. Negative space

I had to Google "negative space" to figure it out, but I immediately thought of this picture I took a couple of months ago while we were eating supper on the back porch. The balloon was low enough that we could hear the hot air blowing into it.
Dinner with a view.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

23. Last

He's the last one sleeping this morning - even through the alarm clock, Ella's voice, and our shower running. Man-Cub was tired. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

22. Enjoying life

                  Costa del Roper

Friday, June 21, 2013

21. Lunchtime

Praise and worship music playing, quiet house, birthday project, no lunch in sight, but this is lunchtime today. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

20. Cute

For some reason, I just can't get over the little girl cuteness when Ella lets me do her hair in braided pigtails. The only thing cuter might be her crazy big and curly bedhead when she sleeps with wet hair. I should have taken a picture of that this morning.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

19. Currently reading

I recently did that thing where I forego sleep and read 5 books in one week, then it was VBS time, then I caught up on sleep, and yesterday I started this book. It's a retelling of the book of Hosea, which I've never read, so I guess that will be next.
This is the last stack I read before this book. Imagine another Nicholas Sparks novel and the last Sookie Stackhouse book on top of these three.

Why yes, I am a Nicholas Sparks fan.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

18. Street

In this case, "Dead End" is code for "Home". The Brown One is my welcoming committee. She doesn't wait nicely at the sign, though. We faked that for the picture. If Dave is home first, she barrels off the front porch and meets me at the end of the driveway to escort me in. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

17. Centered

She has always been very expressive.
This was Ella's reaction to the Tilt-a-Whirl at the fair a few months ago. We were ready to leave and didn't have enough tickets left for Dave and I both to ride. The Tilt-a-Whirl is too circular, so I decided not to ride and she had to ride with Dave and Luke, without me. I entertained myself by watching and laughing every time they passed by and I could see her in the full, dramatic wail - head tilted back, mouth wide open, screaming like a banshee. She was obviously still mad at me for bailing when the ride was over.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

16. Family

Ropers, May 2013
Here we are, in our most recent family picture. I love, love this picture that my friend Jessica from Simple Gifts Photography took of us on the UM campus recently. It's past time to update the pictures on the mantle, and I can't wait to put this one front and center.

I try to make a point to have a professional family photo taken every year. We usually do it in the fall, right after the kids' birthdays, but we skipped it last year because Dave wanted to have hair in the picture. We tried to work it out for late fall, but I really had my heart set on doing it at UM, so we postponed it until the spring when everything is green and blooming. They turned out beautifully. Jessica is so talented and so good with the kids. She didn't give me a single picture of Ella with the horrible, my-mother-is-making-me-do-this, fake smile.

I don't know if it's because Dave had a bloodwork appointment with the oncologist last week or because it's summertime, but my mind has been turning to cancer a lot lately.  His bloodwork was all normal, so we have three more cancer-free months behind us, but I keep thinking about what we were doing at this time last year and how different this summer is already - how fabulously, unworried, and unencumbered it is. I took so many pictures last summer because I was on a mission to capture everything, but when I look at them now, I can feel the worry and fear mixed into the joy. I let it wash over me, and then I praise God for all of that hard stuff and for my happy family of four that survived it and came out better on the other side.

When I look at this picture of us a year later, all I feel is joy.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

15. From above

Ella got water in her ear at the pool this week and it got infected and started draining. We've been irrigating it with vinegar water and putting antibiotic drops in it. She hates the vinegar water because it stinks. Dave holds her hand while I do it and last night when I finished, she asked him to cuddle with her. He's a wise man, so he took her up on that offer. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

14. Texture

I added some texture to my face at VBS last night. 

So did Luke and Ella. They can pull it off. I cannot. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

13. Kitchen

This is our kitchen today.
The sign says, "Many have eaten here, few have died."
Rebecca made it for me.
I still love it like I did when we moved into the house. I love the big window over the sink and the functionality of it, but now that I've worked in it for six years, there are some things about it that I can't wait to change. The weird lighting, for instance. There isn't enough of it and sometimes one of the two flourescent fixtures won't turn on at all thanks to our old, low-voltage electrical work. I'm looking forward to seeing that replaced one day. I also want two ovens.

My biggest beef with the kitchen isn't with the kitchen itself, but with the family room on the other side of the penninsula where the stove is located. For one, it has carpet and that carpet is absolutely disgusting from the tracking in at the front door and the cooking on the stove. Also, the penninsula and the stairs make it a weird space. It's hard to arrange the furniture and have enough light where we need it. We have a kitchen table that fits decently in the eat-in space, but if anyone in addition to the four of us eat there, it gets very crowded. It boils down to needing more space for family - for eating and for sitting around, and if some upgrades come with it, well, that will be fine with me.

After our trip to IKEA, this is the kitchen we are picturing in our heads. We have some work to do to figure out how to fit it in our space, but it has all of the things I want, including two full-sized ovens.

Our model kitchen, courtesy of IKEA.
We've been collecting pictures of kitchens for a while now, so who knows if this is what it will actually end up looking like when we finally do it, but we both like it and it renewed Dave's hope for a classic black and white tile floor.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

12. 11 o'clock

Water break. I just finished practicing for a client presentation and my voice is tired. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

11. Something funny

Luke's surprise from our trip to Six Flags was a Batman cape. The next day, he wore it with his Batman t-shirt. He was running around Grandmother's living room enjoying the feeling of the cape fluttering behind him when I asked for bye-love. It was then that I learned something very important about Batman.

"Batman don't need hugs."

Luckily, Grandmother convinced him that even though Batman doesn't need hugs, he does give them out to mommies who are about to leave for work. Because, even though Batman doesn't need hugs, Wuke Boper does, and he would have had a bad day about it if he'd missed it.

After telling me goodbye, he realized a part of his costume was missing.

"Where my Batman eyes?"

Because he was already dressed the part, I relented and went home for the mask. You can't be Batman without the eyes.
Luke is Batman

Monday, June 10, 2013

10. You!

Me and Ella, circa November 2008
I didn't want to do another self-portrait for this Photo A Day prompt, and when I was trying to think of a picture of me that really shows who I am, this is the one that came to mind. It shows the biggest parts of me - work and family. Since God is part of all of that, I can see Him there, too, especially when I think of a couple of my favorite verses : Colossians 3:23 - 24 and Ephesians 6:4. The Lord knows I needed Him when I realized the magnitude of responsibility that came with a baby and the complete helplessness I felt at the thought of one day sending her out into the world without me to protect her. It was then that I realized what a precious gift every moment with her is and I started praying for guidance, perspective, strength, peace, patience, courage, and all manner of other things so as not to screw it up. So yeah, He was there, right in the middle of everything, as it should be.

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." - Colossians 3:23-24
I know Ella was between 4 and 5 months old in this picture because I was back at work and she was wearing the Pavlik harness on the outside of her pajamas - which meant we were able to take it off for bath time. I think this was the first time I had to work late after returning to work from maternity leave. That doesn't happen often, and now when it does, I either just stay at the office late or wait until the kids are in bed to finish up. Back then, she was waiting for me to get home to nurse and she needed for me to sit in that brown chair and nurse for most of the evening. Even when she fell asleep, I usually held her until I went to bed or she would just wake up over and over again.

Our end tables are blessedly less crowded these days, I gave the Boppy pillow to Aunt Becca two years ago, and if there is a burp cloth in our house, it belongs to the baby Maggie Beth. But man oh man, the sight of that fuzzy little head tucked into my neck while I worked makes me almost able to feel her tiny little body snuggled in my arms, almost able to smell her baby smell all around me. This is what makes me tell new mothers to hold their babies as much and as long as they want despite what anyone says about spoiling and self-soothing because that age really, really doesn't last long at all and you can never get it back. The hugs are just as good now, and I can still smell her baby smell if I tuck my nose into her neck while I hug her, but she'll never fit in my arms quite like that again.

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Saturday, June 08, 2013

8. An Animal

On the same night that Dave became one with the golf course, we paid a visit to our friends at the college lake.
Meet Quackers and Wackers. 

The kids and I had the pleasure of meeting them at a picnic a few weeks ago. We took a stroll down to the water and the ducks waddled right up to us, quacking softly. I ran back up the hill for a piece of bread, and we fed them until it was gone. They were not shy about it and they followed us around for the rest of the afternoon. The kids loved it.

The other night, we had some leftover french fries so we fed them again. This time, Wackers wouldn't come out of the water, but it was okay because Luke made it his job to throw the fries as hard as he could so that Wackers could eat, too. A couple of times I was really afraid I was going to have to launch myself into the nasty, green water, because it looked like he was about to throw his whole self in along with the french fries.

Then Dave decided to see if Quackers would take the fries from his hand, and he did, and he doesn't understand the "Easy" command we taught Georgia so long ago as to preserve little fingers. He became emboldened then, waddling up to the kids and snatching the fries. It was both funny and intimidating - especially when he mistook Luke's little brown fingers for a fry. Luckily, ducks don't have teeth, so while it was shocking to feel his beak, it didn't hurt.

We told them goodnight when all the fries were gone and promised to visit again soon. I'm pretty sure Ella and Luke believe they are our ducks.

Friday, June 07, 2013

7. Bright

Mowgli and Me
I actually have a pretty decent tan, as far as tanning and SPF 50 go, but when I'm standing next to my family, you would think it's the middle of January. Luke's tan especially makes mine look bright white.

P.S. Dave suggested we all line up and take a picture of our naked butts so you can see how bright mine is compared to the rest of them. You can thank me later for modifying that suggestion.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

6. Transport

I'm slowly but surely delegating my pack mule duties to the children. The bigger they get, the more able they are to carry their own stuff and I'm making them do it. I want them to be accustomed to having their hands full and taking responsibility for their things before they are grown.

Little Pack Mules
Since they like to take a load of stuff with them to Grandmother's house a few days a week, they pack a backpack and carry it themselves. If they forget to bring that stuff home, well, that's their problem. Mostly. There have been a few times that Grandmother or I made a last minute run for the baby Maggie Beth or Gigi blanket, but if it's just regular old toys, they can wait until the next day. The same thing goes for cups left on the counter as we are walking out the door. If I fill it and hand it to you, you can take it to the car. If you forget it, you can wait until we get somewhere to get another drink. I am responsible for the essentials - the pool bag, the changes of clothes, etc. - but they can take care of the extras they insist on bringing.

On this day, their backpacks were filled with two potato heads and all the various potato parts, two Mickey Mouse cars, a singing, spinning Mini Cooper, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Luke's hands also carried a copy of the riveting storybook, Snug House Bug House - which they cannot stop reading, not even long enough to walk to the car.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

5. Environment

Before we had a dog (and kids, but the dog came first), Dave and I made a habit of visiting obscure festivals in random locations or just taking off for a weekend to explore a different city. Sometimes, we'd just get in the car and drive on all the back roads we could find in the surrounding counties. We like to find neat things in out of the way places and just enjoy each other's company in the car. That mostly ended with the dog because we couldn't just up and leave for a few days without making arrangements for her. Then the kids came along and Ella hated riding in the car so much that we hated it, too, so we don't do very much exploring anymore.

We went to Atlanta this past weekend for the roller coasters, but we decided to wander around the city before driving home Monday morning. We just recently watched an episode of House Hunters where a guy bought a house in the Virginia Highland neighborhood and we got it in our heads to go see about it. (While we were creeping through the streets in awe of those big, old houses, I wondered aloud if the residents get tired of people gawking through their neighborhood all the time. Dave quickly reminded me that most people aren't like us, religiously watching House Hunters every night and then stalking the locations that are near us. I couldn't disagree.)  As we drove around, we happened upon the Jimmie Carter Presidential Library, and having never seen a presidential library before, we decided to stop. The grounds were green and beautiful, so I took some pictures thinking that they would fit nicely with the day five topic of "environment". We decided not to pay the $8 to walk through the museum, instead we settled for peeking through the windows and strolling around the gardens. It made me wish I had brought my big camera, but I made do with the iPhone.

We found a large goose feather for Ella and saw a flock of not-quite-baby-anymore geese. There were also ducks and very large coy in a little pond. It was a nice stroll around the grounds and on the way to IKEA afterward, I was thinking up some things to write about "environment" and democratic presidents and my indoctrination into green-thinking in elementary school with Auntie Litter's visit to teach us about recycling and the scene in our 5th grade play that included the song Pass It On Down by Alabama - as if I need to justify or explain how I came to think the way I do about the environment.

Then, I walked up to the hand dryer in the bathroom at IKEA and read this sign, and I knew I'd found my photo for day 5.

It's blurry because someone came out of a stall just as I was
snapping this picture and I was trying to hurry and
not look like a complete weirdo. Ahem.
Also, I love IKEA. Dave loved it, too. If we'd driven the Pilot to Atlanta, we probably would have come home with a load. We will go back.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

4. After dark

As we were driving around after going out to supper the other night, Dave told me to drive by the golf course because he wanted "to be one with it." I still don't know what that means, but we drove up the little service road by the 11th hole so he could look at it.
Golf Course After Dark
I was asking him if the road was the old entrance and if the little building was the old clubhouse, and from the backseat, two little voices chimed in: "Clubhouse?!" "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?!" They were sorely disappointed.

We all humored him for a few minutes while he became one, and then Ella said, "Can we go home now? I'm ready for bed."

Three out of four Ropers agree, the golf course after dark is nothing to see. The fourth Roper would probably have pitched a tent if we'd had one.

Monday, June 03, 2013

3. On my table

Dave and I played hooky from life yesterday and drove to Atlanta to ride roller coasters. I don't know why, but it was a perfect day at Six Flags. We got there when the park opened and, by noon, we had ridden all but one of them. There was hardly any waiting. We took a break to eat lunch, and then started riding everything again. It was a little more crowded in the afternoon, so we used our Flash Pass to reserve one ride while we waited for another and by the time it started storming at three, we had ridden all but two of the coasters again. 

His favorite? Goliath. Mine? It might always be Batman the Ride, but the Scorcher was a very close second. I love the speed, he loves the classic roller coasters. 

After the rain out, we walked back to the hotel and sat by the pool for the rest of the afternoon. We called the kids during dinner and when it was Luke's turn to talk, he greeted us both with, "Hey, I poopin'." We have had a great time, but I can't wait to see those monkeys this afternoon. 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

2. A Moment

These moments are starting to happen more frequently.

Sibling Love
Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of yelling and the occasional physical altercation, but I'm noticing that as they get older, they are starting to appreciate each other. He'll always be the annoying little brother and she'll always be the bossy big sister, but that doesn't negate all the times I hear them invite each other to play or the times I find them like this.

Luke would cuddle with her more, but he recognizes her need for personal space, so he only pushes the issue when he is overflowing with affection and can no longer contain his need to wrap his arms around her waist and snuggle his face into her back saying, "I wuv you, Elwa!" Usually she yells when this happens until I point out that he's hugging her, not terrorizing her, and then she stands still and tolerates the contact for a few seconds. She has always been a prickly one. It's when she initiates the hugs or willingly returns them that my heart feels the happiest, because those are rare moments, and because as much as she needs space, Luke needs physical contact.

It's one of the things that make them so different. He demands physical contact from everyone around him. He is openly, freely affectionate with everyone - from me to people he has just met. It's easy to make sure I hug or touch him enough because he initiates it so often. I sometimes have to point out the times when Ella doesn't want to be touched so that he recognizes her boundaries (and others' boundaries)  because he is so affectionate.

At the same time, I have to make a concious effort to hug and touch Ella often because she is so self-contained, and so am I. Though she doesn't demand the contact like he does, it's still important for her. She still needs it. The more independent she becomes, the less I touch her on a routine basis because I'm no longer dressing and bathing her or brushing her teeth every day. She even brushes her own hair now. She doesn't get as much routine contact from me, so I have to make sure I initiate it regularly. Because I am also not a freely affectionate person, I literally have to remind myself to hug her sometimes. Sometimes she's not receptive. Sometimes she tells me point-blank, "Stop touching my hair" or "Stop rubbing my back" and I do, immediately. Sometimes, she really needs it and crawls into my lap to stay a while, or cuddles up with her baby brother.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

1. B is for...

B is for "blogging" - something I've been slacking on lately. It's not that I haven't wanted to write, but I haven't had much to say. We've settled into a much more relaxed summer routine with lots of outside play and swimming and family. It's glorious, but boring to read about, so, no blogging.

That's why I decided to do Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day for the month of June. I have a driving need to write. Something. Anything. This will help.

B is also for "birthday", and since June is Ella's birth month, I'm sure there will be some blogging about it. She's planned everything for her party, down to the flavor of the cake. When she started giving me detailed instructions about how the invitations should look, I decided to turn the decision making over to her. She's having a blast with the planning, asking for my phone everywhere we go so she can show people what kind of cake she will have. I maintain veto power, but it's her party, she can plan it.

B is also for "boy" and "blue" and "beard" which leads me to the first photo for the month of June - one that is decidedly not birthday related.
Little Boy Blue Beard
This is how I found him one recent Friday afternoon when I got to Grandmother's house after work. He's a threat to color his entire body with a magic marker, so really, the fact that it was only a beard and a forearm tattoo is notable. The wild hair and camo shorts rounded out the look.