Friday, September 28, 2012

Only a Ginger Can Call Another Ginger Ginger

I may or may not have impulsively given BB a red streak while dyeing Auntie Seen's hair red.

J was not pleased.

What can I say? I got me a case of gingivitis!

(Warning: there is some salty language towards the end)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chunky Monkey

You haven't seen delight until you've seen BB's entire face light up mid-whining-about-lunch to excitedly proclaim in his silly voice "I wanna chunky monkey sanwich".

J created BB this treat for the first time, and since then BB can instruct you on exactly what goes on a chunky monkey sandwich. If you're wondering, it's peanut butter, sliced bananas, a drizzle of honey, and chocolate sprinkles. Lunch of champions.

From Washington With Love

As I already shared in SS's birthday post, my sister and nieces and brother-in-law came to visit and celebrate SS's very first birthday with us back at the end of July. 

They stopped by Disneyland on the way here.

We ate a lot of meals, went to my soccer game, watched the Olympics, hiked and lunched on Mount Lemmon, swam at the hotel pool, went to J's sister's art exhibit, and my niece A even game me a (much-needed) soccer lesson.  And her lesson definitely improved my game - so much so that I even scored my FIRST GOAL EVER last week!!!  Which was the best feeling, I couldn't stop smiling (or talking about it). Oh how I love being a Pouncing Puma.

But back to subject at hand.


At my soccer game the night they got into town - BB is loving his Eegee treat

Aub's taking mental notes of the game so that she can coach me later

Preparing to hike Mt. Lemmon

Hiking at the top of Mt. Lemmon

Overlooking Tucson

Auntie Jen hug

and a "Scawy kiss"

Didn't we order the large?

BB jumping in to me - unfortunately, BB's love of swimming has been replaced with F-E-A-R and getting him to swim to me or jump in took much, much cajoling.

Male bonding at its finest.

While my sister was in town, J's sister's art exhibit opened. The UA news did a video article on her art and exhibit, which you can watch here. 
Even though I see and talk to Shawna all the time, watching this video really helped deepen my understanding of her artwork.

Her exhibit is impressive.
All concrete.

Hundreds of frames, tufted ottomans with patterned "fabric", a side table, all from concrete.

My boys with all of their aunties at Shawna's exhibit

And all of their grandparents

My family

The bonus to Shawna's art exhibit being on campus at the U of A was that I got to take my sister and nieces on a little driving tour of my college. My sister remarked about what a proud alumnus I was - and she's totally right, I am still enamored with the University campus, all these years later. And I love that J works on campus so we still occasionally get to spend time enjoying the turtle pond, playing soccer on the mall, driving past my dorm, etc. etc. etc.

Dinner at Oreganos after Shawna's exhibit!! Such a fun night. And for a real taste of the desert, we even saw a javelina driving out to my uncle's that night!

Breakfast before the fam left town

Squeezed in a soccer lesson before they left town. Real girls play soccer in dresses.

Come back soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Punctuate with Swearing

Sometimes I love photos, or the memories attached to those photos, so much that it is hard for me to let them go out into the world. I want to publish them in some heightened way with captivating words that fully honor the memory or emotion wrapped up in them. Which is challenging/often-impossible. So they sit in various draft forms for months at a time until I finally feebly post them in some recap post with one line of caption. That's how these pictures still aren't posted 6 months after they were taken.

But I thought today would be an appropriate day to finally post these. 

Matt, Serene, B, and Tada are in Boston, preparing to begin B's radiation treatments. The course of radiation is expected to take around 8 weeks. On Tuesday during some pre-treatment procedures, B developed severe pain and was admitted to the PICU for monitoring. She has fluid compressing her spinal cord. She was discharged yesterday, and woke up from a nap with more pain this afternoon and is back at the ER now. The initiation of her radiation treatments have likely been pushed back a week.

Pray pray pray. 
It's all we can do from so far away. I feel so helpless with no niece to sleep over or hospital room to visit.

Helplessness often induces swearing for me. During the course of B's diagnosis and surgeries here in Tucson, I'd say about a third of my prayers were just incredulous swear words. That's part of what drives me to call for others to pray for B, because my prayers in situations like this are kind of sucky. While Serene is searching the Word and writing out eloquent, powerful, scripture-based prayers for her daughter, I'm whimpering "Help B. Please, please help B," and angrily praying "A *cussing* tumor!?! Are you kidding? *Cuss*!"  But I know my Father understands that it was/is all I could offer. He's the one who made me me, and He accepts me as is, blanketed in grace in Jesus. And I am confident that he is overjoyed that I turn to Him in all things, even only with simple words and with our conversations punctuated with swearing.  But I do so appreciate those scriptural calls on His faithfulness that I know others are sending up on B's behalf. Hopefully they balance out B's aunt's potty mouth.  

Back in March, the girls came over to sleep over with their cousins, just for fun.  We watched Tangled and ate pizza and hot fudge sundaes, and I didn't say "No" for one whole night. 

Pure joy


B's bear and Tada's Deet-Deet are riding the kids like horsies

Tada did not expect to be a pony, but BB just hopped right on!

Such a good big sister/cousin, reading the kiddos bedtime stories without even being asked.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just Plane Fun

We celebrated SS's very first birthday with just plane fun.   

I knew I wanted to do an airplane-themed party for SS's first birthday because his nursery is loosely airplane and travel-themed, but I hadn't really gotten inspired. And then one afternoon I finally sat down and googled.  People are so creative. And I pilfered all of their creativity. 

We mailed all of our guests their "Boarding Passes" for the party. The First Class tickets were individualized with "passenger's" names printed on them, and lines about Just plane fun for SS's 1st birthday and SS's first year has flown by! My husband gets all the credit for creating the invitations based on a similar design we found online. And I just made the airmail envelopes using markers.

Speaking of guests, SS's birthday was made extra-extra-special by some beloved visitors.  My sister, brother-in-law and nieces traveled all the way from Washington to help us celebrate SS turning one year old. And GG came from Lake Havasu to party with us too. Their whole visit was wonderful and relaxing and I am excited to get pictures from the entire visit up soon.

For party decor we hung batting from the ceiling to make clouds, put out luggage, had signs for the Baggage Check (for the gift table), the First Class Lounge, the Drink Cart, and the In Flight Meal. I also made some airplane garland during a couple of Crafternoons with Tada. (Crafternoons were what kept Tada busy in the  afternoons while BB and SS napped. Girl loves crafting. And crafting could be anything from watercolors to creating houses for her stuffed animals out of paper scraps - I just plunked down glue sticks and construction paper and markers and stickers and tape and let her go at it. And joined her to cut out some airplanes a few times.)


I also made an airplane out of a watermelon, and J and I made these sky and cloud jello parfaits. (All totally pilfered creativity.)  And we ordered sandwiches from Beyond Bread, our favorite sandwich place. 

We had a couple of simple activities set up at the table - guests could make a candy airplane, and make and paint an airplane out of clothespins and popsicle sticks.

I love all of the decor, but obviously the best part of any party is the guests.

Cousin M snapped this pic of the guest of honor, SS the big boy one year old. M recently started up her own graphic design business, Retrospect Design, and designed this awesome shirt for SS to wear to his party.

Group photo!
(Serene is holding up her Ipad, showing Cousin B and Uncle Matt Face Timing in during the cake and present-opening, as B was back in the hospital during SS's party)

Our little family
(When I went to pick an outfit, I realized that I had a dress that resembled a stewardess dress and a wings pin, so I embraced the theme.)

And now for a zillion party pictures!!  Enjoy!!


My sister and bro-in-law

Cousin A, so grown up. I totally teared up when I saw her in this dress.
GG and her brother, my Uncle B, who just moved to Tucson!

My sister and her family came to Tucson from a Southern California amusement park tour - they went to Disneyland and Sea World and Universal Studios, and brought back spoils for us all! Here's my mom opening her gifts.

SS stared and stared at all of the decorations when he came down from his nap - made mama's heart happy. 


In Flight Dessert

SS's personal cake 
(yellow cake with a whipped cream cheese frosting, homemade by mama, for those interested)

The cake for the rest of us - I will not be on Ace of Cakes anytime soon. 
Not exactly what I envisioned, but it was delicious!





Face-timing with B

Opening Gifts

Sleepy and Silly

Just sleepy

The book Heads from Auntie Seen, Uncle Matt, B and Tada

Big Brother helping

Gifts from Mama and Daddy and Tada and BB

Pulling out the tissue

That's Not My Puppy book and a sweet taggies ball that Tada picked and SS loves

Soccer ball from Great Uncle B. SS then became obsessed with this ball and only wanting to play with it and not open any other gifts.

Gifts from Auntie Jen, Uncle A, M and A - Class Disney bath toys, and baby penguin from Sea World, and  Hard Rock cafe bib (already much used), and my favorite, a stuffed Mickey Mouse. Seeing the Donald Duck bath toy made me miss my dad - he used to do Donald's voice. And then Uncle M did Donald's voice over Facetime, and we all laughed.

There's the taggie ball from us, cast aside for the beloved soccer ball :) 

BB got special gifts too

That, my friends, is a flying Buzz Lightyear. BB plays with him almost every day.

I'm letting this picture of Papa speak for itself.

Getting to know Mickey with Auntie Jen.

Flying High

Precious one-year-old flying high during his first birthday party

And that's a wrap on SS's first year.