Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I forgot to take pictures of the kids in their Christmas best.

So instead, here they are with their "disgusting" (as L. calls them) false teeth, from their stockings. (L. refused to pose because they were so disgusting.)

(look at those cheeks!)

Uncle Garrett came from Chicago, Gramom and Grampa from the East Coast/further East, and of course we celebrated with Kay & Dave & Baby C. It was a happy Christmas, but with a note of sadness. We learned last Tuesday that the kids' great-grandfather (and Gramom Lisa's dad) had passed away that morning. Lisa and Tom had just visited with him the day before, braving the East Coast snowstorm, and were so thankful for that. He died peacefully, and at home, which is what he would have wanted.

We were all happy to be together, and especially thankful for the company of family at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

me: "Hey guys, you've been eating lunch for almost an hour. Time to wrap it up."

A.: "Like a present?"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

why we are in no rush to upgrade to a larger-than-3-foot tree

(this happened twice already--today.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

1/2 Birthday

Since L's birthday is in June, we wouldn't get a party at school. So we celebrated her half birthday instead. It coincided with the last day of school before the holidays, so we did a combined caroling/cookie decorating/birthday party. In the top photo, she is wearing the birthday hat and her reindeer antlers at the same time.
The Kindergartners went from classroom to classroom throughout the whole school and performed songs for the other students. And L's teacher is just the coolest. She has a great sense of humor about everything, is totally 100% chill all the time and has got all 27 of her students completely under control. And she plays the guitar. She rocks.
The school building itself is really old and well-maintained and parts of it are really beautiful. For example, this huge staircase and the stained glass in some of the classrooms (the colors are not very bright in the photos, but you get the idea).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

flash (flood)

(warning: some disgusting content in this post)

BR is potty training. We are working on timing, but it can be very tricky. He is a little confused about whether to inform me before or after there is a puddle on the floor. He doesn't quite understand that "Quick, Mommy! Take me to the potty!" is really no longer relevant once the trousers are soaked.

On my end of things, I am no longer very fazed about the process (usually). I am not even embarrassed about having to mop up a mess under a coffee shop table or whatever public place we happen to be (usually); I always carry a change of clothes and underwear, and then the rest of it... Well, really, third time around there is not much he can dish out that I haven't already handled before. (With grace and poise, of course. Always).

I guess if I had to point to the particular moment when I knew that I reached "Experienced" Mom status when it came to diapers and potty training, it would have to be a couple of months ago. That morning, I woke up earlier than the kids and somehow successfully (and miraculously) snuck into the bathroom without waking anyone up on my way there. I showered and even washed my hair before any of them realized what was happening.

When I eventually made it upstairs to BR's room to pull him out of his crib, the stench was fairly overwhelming. The diaper had not held up, and his sleeper, sheets and blankets were a freshly browned hue.

Ordinarily, this would lead to an interior self-pitying monologue about how this was no way to start the day, and then probably something sarcastic like how I didn't need more laundry to do today, thank-you-very-much. I would grit my teeth and then reason my way into believing that although it was not BR's fault that the velcro bands on the diaper didn't do their job, maybe he could grow up just a little faster and figure this out on his own... That sort of thing. (I know, I am so mature, right?)

But that day was different. My first reaction was just to shrug calmly. "Huh. Look at that," I thought. "Oh well. And who cares, anyway? I can handle anything today because I had a shower!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

very hungry caterpillar, i mean, baby

this baby can eat. he can really eat. Here are some shots of him post-bottle. With a full tummy, he is one happy guy:

We enjoyed our times with Baby Cousin so much, can you tell? I especially like the way his face lights up when he sees his Auntie Claire.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

cousins shaking hands

Personally, I like the improvised finale.

(no audio)

Friday, December 11, 2009

we've been using this... help with the before-school morning routine. It's been working pretty well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Clown Clothes"

I was given orders to post this, with that title. I do what I am told.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

deserving of its own post

One of the highlights of the trip to Washington was that we got to visit with Jeremy's grandfather, Wendell. He was married in April of this year and we finally got to meet his bride, Jo!

I think they felt very much at home with their family around them, and we often caught them like this, resting peacefully and naturally in the middle of all the noise and festivities. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

a different rendition

A: "BR, do you want me to sing 'Bob the Builder' for you?"

BR.: "Yes."

A.(singing): "Bob the Builder, can he fix it?"

BR: "Wait, wait, I can sing it: Bob the Builder, NO HE CAN'T! Bob the Builder, HELP ME FIX IT!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

another strike for Rel.Ed.

There we were at Sunday Mass. I thought, what a great time to explain about some of our Christmas traditions.

(Me, whispering to L.): "See those candles? There is one for every week of Advent. See that image of Our Lady of Guadalupe? Her feast day is December 12..." And so on.

"Mommy, your breath smells like tacos."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

catching up

O loyal blog readers, I have neglected thee terribly.
This is by far the longest we've ever gone quiet here at RandBs, but not to worry. It wasn't because of crises, just an overload of fun and travel.

First, we went to Seattle, which was like this:

table set for Tanksgiving dinner:
a peak at Pike's Place market:

bah-ket-ball HOOP!

Lunch with Johanna:

had some "rock band" fun (and discovered that L. rocks the guitar, A. knows all the lyrics to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and BR is not too bad on the drums):

Then we came home and had a couple days to get ready for our next adventure. Gramom came to hold down the fort and take care of the kiddos while J. and I went south to New Mexico to check out some job opportunities for 2011 (since we won't be able to go there this time next year, because of the whole India thing). I forgot my camera but found the following photos that capture the essence of the trip.

We visited the Navajo Nation at Shiprock which was a little like this:

but the hospital compound was kind of more like this:

next, we went to Gallup, NM (which was actually like this since we happened to be there during their annual Balloon Festival):

on the way home, we made a stop at Aztec, NM (which never had any Aztecs, but did have Native American populations a long, long time ago as these 900 yr-old ruins prove. Yes, apparently the US does indeed boast some 900 yr old structures. take that, Europe!)

We're home now, and glad to be. The kids loved every minute of Gramom's visit from what I can gather and I will have to collect photos from her. It was hard to drag them away from Seattle, though, because "Grammie and Papa's house was WAY more fun" than they'd realized it would be, according to L.!