Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jackass: (Not) The Movie ~or~ The Boy Life

OK, first of all, for those of you unfamiliar with Jackass, relax.  I'm not referring to either one of my boys in the title of this post.  Well, not really.  OK, maybe a little.  But anyway, for a quick primer on "Jackass:  The Movie", please visit this link ~> Jackass: The Move (Official Trailer).

Alrighty-then.  Assuming you are now up to speed on Jackass (and thanking your lucky stars that don't call any of those fellows "son"), read on.

We like to live as "green" as we can in our house, and I have gone to great lengths (and amassed quite a bit of junk) trying to impress upon my children that everything we use has at least two useful purposes.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  That's our mantra.  Lila, in particular, has latched on to this principal quite vehemently.  So the other night when Duke tried to toss this empty juice bottle into the recycle bin, it was no surprise to hear her say, "Reuse, Daddy!!  Reuse, reduce, recycle!!!" (Yeah, she gets the order mixed up some times.)  Here's the conversation that followed:

Daddy:  It's empty, Lila.  What do you want me to do with it?
Jake:  I know, Daddy!  We could fill it with farts and drop a match in it.  Then it would explode!!
Me:  *blink* *blink*
Daddy:  Hahahahahahaha!!
Me:  (trying very hard to suppress laughter cuts disapproving mother-eyes and laughing father)
Jake:  No!  Seriously!!  I'm not kidding!!!   It'll explode!!!!
Me:  Uh, Jake?  Who told you that?
Jake:  Daddy did!!
Me:  Uh...Daddy?
Daddy:  No I didn't!!
Jake:  Yes you did!
Daddy:  *blink* *blink*

And there you have it.  Life with boys!

Oh, and no, we did not repurpose the bottle as a fart bomb.

Lila turned it into an annoying percussion instrument by filling it with bouncy balls.  Maybe we'll try Jake's idea next time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Delila's First Dance Recital ~or~ The Thanks I Get

Ballet.  *sigh*  Just the mention of the word sends ripples of anticipation up and down the spines of most Girl-Moms.  The shoes!  The tights!  The layers upon layers of tulle!  Not this Girl-Mom.  When Delila started expressing interest in dance...well...those ripples of anticipation felt more like waves, no tsunamis of nausea.  But it's all about the kids, right?  Not about me.  So, when Delila wanted to sign up for ballet, Delila got signed up for ballet.

She took it very seriously, and practiced her positions with diligence. 

But ballet isn't just about a little girl perfecting her passe.  Oh no!  There's a lot of practice involved for Mommy too.  None of which is all that fun.

Like applying stage makeup to a squirming 4-year-old.  Oh yeah, let's talk about how much fun that was.  I think I'd rather apply mascara to a cat!  (OK, so my first attempt was a little heavy-handed.)

And then there were hours spent scouring YouTube for ballet hair style tutorials.  (Yes, there are plenty of them out there.  Wow!  You can really kill some time doing that kind of research.)

Back in April I thought all this stuff was the hard part.  But then came picture day and preparation for the recital - when the tutu had to be pressed and fluffed just so.  ("Hang your tutu upside down for maximum puffiness" -- per the directions that came with it.)  All of this translates into a lot of work for the Girl-Mom.

And then...then there was the dress rehearsal and the recital itself.  Delila was beside herself with excitement about her big day on the The Big Stage!  Fortunately, she didn't have a baseball game on that Saturday, so the entire day could be wasted dedicated to hair, makeup, dressing, etc.  Oh, and did I mention that recital day is supposed to be some kind of momentous occasion?  To be celebrated with flowers and gifts?!  Well, you know what that meant...more running around for the Girl-Mom...which I dutifully did.

I bought flowers to match her costume.  I tied them into separate bundles -- one from Bubba, one from Mimi, one from Mommy & Daddy...

a very special one, hand picked from the garden by Big Brother Jake.

I included feathers and chiffon she'd have lasting souvenirs of her big day on the big stage.

I wrapped each bouquet with organza and satin ribbon that I planned to use to create a streamer so Lila could practice her ribbon dancing at home.

And then the moment arrived!

I have to admit, seeing all the little girls dressed up and ready to take the stage...well, it was pretty stinkin' cute.

I got Lila's hair and makeup just right.

Lila assumed her Prima Ballerina attitude...

...and she took the stage!

And then it was over.

And then it was really over.

SeriouslyOver!  Really?  This is the thanks I get?!?!?  All of that pressing and primping!  All of that running around and wrapping!  For this?!?

Well, it really hurt my feelings.  So I've decided to keep the flowers and feathers, the butterflies and ribbons, the tiara and the trophy for myself...for being a great Girl-Mom and doing a fantastic and under-appreciated job on Lila's first dance recital.  I might even make myself a streamer and do a little ribbon dancing of my own.  I'm definitely wearing the tiara.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kindergarten - All Wrapped Up

School's out for summer!!  Do you think anyone around here is excited about that?  Oh yeah!  Especially me.  I'm telling you, I was so excited for the end of the school year, I felt just like a school kid myself.  No more backbacks to load.  No more lunches to pack.  No more snack packs, hot binders or homework.  Yippy!!

The last weeks of school were full of fun, games & festivities.  There was the Moving on Up production -- a celebration of surviving the trials and turmoil of Kindergarten in preparation for...well...the trials and turmoil of 1st grade.  Jake had a speaking part in the production:

"There is power in our choices,
Listen up to hear our voices."
He delivered his lines flawlessly -- thanks to all the practice sessions with Mimi & Bubba.

That was followed by field day - a morning of outdoor fun & games.  It was a bit of a drizzly day, which explains the lack of pictures.  You'll just have to trust me when I tell you that the dampness of the day didn't dampen anyone's spirits.  Jake found a new favorite game:  "ladder tennis" (aka:  ladder golf, golf toss, etc.); and he learned that he can pick up 42 marbles with his toes in 60 seconds.  Now there's a life lesson for ya!

And last, but certainly not least, there was the End of Year Party.  The entire afternoon of the last day of school was devoted to fun & games.  No cloud cover on this 100 degree day.  Just tons of sweaty fun.  It actually was a lot like field day except it took place in the afternoon, there were goody bags, and when the party was over, so was the school year.

The kids played games, had some snacks, and oh yeah... tattooed!  (Yes, little sister managed to sneak into the festivities.  But boy oh boy was she unhappy to learn that she didn't get to participate in the snacking or the goody-bag-receiving.  It's so hard to be the little sister.)

Of course, no end of year party would be complete without a special gift for teacher.  The kids and I have always put together some kind of hand made something for our teachers at the end of the year.  I'd been wracking my brain for weeks to come up with something nice for Miss Lyttle.  I felt like she needed something special since this was her very first year of teaching.  In the end, I decided to get the whole class involved in the project.  Nothing too complicated...

Printing 22 kids' hands and autographs on fabric squares and then sewing them together in to a memory quilt.  Piece of cake, right?!  Actually, the minute the idea struck me I knew it was a bad one.  A great one...but a bad one.  But in the end, it all came together perfectly.  The kids were great about it.  And they did a fantastic job keeping it a secret from Miss Lyttle.

They eagerly signed their names to the outside of the package...

...and couldn't wait for Miss Lyttle to open it so they could show her their individual contributions.

Of course Jake's hand print, along with Best Buddy Andrew's, was closest to the square that read "To Miss Lyttle with Love".

She really was a great teacher, and the kids just adored her.  I hope we're as lucky with next year's teacher.  But for now, school's out for summer.  And now that we've got Kindergarten all wrapped up, let the real fun begin!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wild Flower Power

All those May showers we got have yielded a bumper crop of wildflowers.  People who say Texas is ugly have never been here in the spring.  I'm sure there are other places in the country that have just as many wildflowers as we have, but I don't know...after the stark concret-blond that is winter in North Texas, well...I just think the wildflowers here are the best I've ever seen.  And this year they're better than usual. 

We had som pretty ferocious storms whip through our parts last Tuesday.  We were pretty much surrounded by tornadoes.  Fortunately, they skirted around to the north and south of us.  Of course, our sirens still went off, which meant the kids had yet another camp out in the coat closet.  And while that made for a short night and a grumpy start to Wedensday morning, we were rewarded for it all the minute we stepped outside.  The day was just gorgeous.  That big blue Texas sky hanging over head and all those pretty little flowers bending in the breeze...well it would have been criminal to spend it inside.  Jake, Delila and I rode our bikes up to school, but that just wasn't enough.  When we got back home, Lila and I decided to put on our gardening boots (things were still pretty muddy from the night before), and head out to have some fun in the flowers.

The bees had the same idea.  They particularly liked these pretty little purple ones, as did I.  Wish I could figure out what they are.  My attempts at identifying them have been unsuccessful.  It's making me a little crazy actually, so if you know what it is....

In the end, Delila decided they were all her favorites, so we cut the top off our water bottle and took a bunch home with us.  Please don't tell the wildflower police!