Monday, August 8, 2011

Conversations


While driving in the car, Josh and Parker heard an emergency alert. Worried, Parker asked Josh if an earthquake was coming. It turned out to be an Amber alert for a little boy who was abducted by his father. Josh explained the situation to Parker.
"So he was a bad guy?" Parker asked
"Yeah" Josh looked back in the back seat and saw Parker was obviously upset. "Are you okay?"
"I just don't want anyone to take Baby Arlo, Daddy! I love him!"

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Overheard from the next room:
Fin- "Jessi and Baby Arlo are coming over today."
Parker - "I know! I just love Baby Arlo!"
Fin- "Yeah, he's the funniest baby ever."
Parker - "And the cutest. Arlo is the cutest. baby. ever. riiiiiiiighht?"

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In the car Parker keeps saying "Santa Marrrrga-RI-TA, Santa Marrrrga-RI-TA, Santa Marrrrga-RI-TA" rolling the 'R's
"Santa Marrrrga-RI-TA! Mama, I say 'Santa Marrrrga-RITA' fancy, riiiiiiight?"

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Parker decided to wear one of her costumes to the grocery store. Its a pink satin cheerleading costume, but its so big on Parker it just looks like a dress. Around her belly though, there is a panel of pink mesh and you can kinda see her belly button. As I was loading everyone in the car Griffin refused to get in the car. "Mom. Parker can NOT wear that to the store. You can see her belly."
"What? Yeah, a little. But thats okay. Its just her belly."
"No, mom! She's a girl. She can NOT wear that to the store!"
"Griffin, its fine. She just wants to wear a costume, I'm okay with it. Its fine. I swear."
*exasperated sigh* "Ugh! I'm NOT okay with this!" and stomped into the car.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Parker's Rainbow Unicorn Pegasus Birthday Party!

Parker requested a Rainbow Unicorn Pegasus birthday party this year. We had so much fun with the theme. P wanted everyone to have pegasus wings, unicorn horns and rainbow tails. Fin declared that the boys would *not* like pegasus wings, so we made them dragons instead. I used glitter covered felt and made everyone a pair of wings (black dragon wings or white pegasus wings) and a tail (rainbow yarn for the unipegs, black glitter felt for dragons).



I got most of the decorations at the 99cent store, where they have a whole wall of party stuff in plain colors. Except purple for some reason. Had to go to the party store for purple. Rainbow colored candy, rainbow jello (made by Nanny!) and of course, the fab Rainbow Unicorn Pegasus cake, made by my awesome friend Jayelle. We also had a rainbow veggie platter and rainbow fruit skewers.






The kids made and decorated their own horns and spent most of the party running around in a herd of dragons/unipegs. I also had Unicorn coloring/activity pages and bubbles for the kids to play with. And, finally I gave the kids who wanted one glitter tattoos (Parker had a meltdown because I wouldn't let her put a giant sparkly diamond on her forehead, but everything was made better when we discovered the gemstones I bought for her nails would stick to her head too)


The goody bags had a gumball necklace, keychain kailedescope, unicorn horn lollipop and a real crystal to make rainbows at home (my parents snagged me the crystals at an antique shop, they're so cool!)

Parker had soooo much fun at her party, and so did all her friends. We're so lucky to have so many awesome friends and family, thanks to you all for coming and helping us celebrate with our little Unicorn!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Parker!


You're a great big bad 'ol five year old today!! Much like last year, you were sooo excited for your birthday. Soon after you woke up today you dragged your wood growth chart into my room, asking me to measure you now that you were five and declaring that you were "so strong now!" After marking your new heighth on the chart you stared intently at yourself in the mirror for some time. Then you solemnly said, "My head is bigger now, too." You had a Rainbow Unicorn Pegasus birthday party on Sunday and today you want to go to the mall and to Farrell's for your birthday dinner, so you can "get a new flamingo" (last year your ice cream came with a cheap, plastic flamingo drink stirrer).

You've grown up a lot this year. You're still deeply emotional and sensitive. But just like you've been from birth, you're just as quick to snap out of a rage/cryfest as you are to delve into it. We've yet to completely crack the code of what brings it on, and what takes you out of it but you've come a long way in the duration and frequency of these episodes. Being tired and hungry are a big part of it. Where some kids, like your brother, are pretty unfazed by a little hunger, it completely incapacitates you in some instances (and makes you a lot like your mama, some would argue). But you're working on it and trying hard. And I can't say that your passion is entirely a bad thing. Because as deeply and fully as you feel anger and sadness the same is true about your love and happiness. Me doing the simplest things for you (allowing you to eat a cookie, for example) merit not only a thank you, but a passionate hug and several kisses and declarations that I'm the best evvveerrrrr.


You and your brother are still two little peas in a pod. You are each other's best friends and look out for each other. You adore him and couldn't wait for him to get home from school every day. You two plot and scheme all night long and drive us nuts by giggling and playing way too late at night. You're excited to be going to the same school as he is next year. You build theme parks together, make dance videos, plot strategies together to get mom and dad to do what you want to do. You stress your brother out with your free-wheeling ways, spinning and dancing away in the stores while he furtively tries to get you to stay close to us. Whenever another kid asks you your name, you say, "Parker. And that's my brother Griffin."


You still dress up. Every. Single. Day. Without fail. You wore a cat tail with every outfit for a good three months straight. You've worn ballet outfits with green frog rainboots, octopus costumes, princess dresses with cat masks all just to go to the grocery store or to pick up Fin. Mismatched stripes to school (you were a zebra). You've perfected your four legged run so well that you can run faster that way than a lot of kids can on two legs. I've joked that you are half feral. I still have to wrap you in a towel after every bath, so that you can crack out of your "egg" and pretend to be a baby bird/dinosaur/turtle. You requested pegasus wings, unicorn horns and rainbow tails for everyone coming to your birthday party. Your imagination is still so amazing to me.

Soon after your fourth birthday, you started sounding out words on your own. Without any pushing or prompting from me or anyone, you taught yourself to read. In fact, in came to a shock to me and your dad when you all of a sudden could read. At school all they were starting to teach you was what sounds letters make and while we've always been huge readers in our family, we'd never asked you to sound anything out, or tried to get you to read. Almost as amazing has been the speed with which you've become extremely proficient at reading. You rarely need to sound anything out anymore, you can read fluidly, and not just the "easy" books. Daddy caught you the other day with a big book in bed when you were supposed to be sleeping and you told him you were reading it in your head "because its faster that way." Going to a movie you insisted on bringing a book "in case there's parts I don't like." Seeing you walking around stores with a book in front of you so reminds me of myself as a child (though I'm not sure I was as young as you are!) I was rarely without a book and reading has always been a great joy to me. I *love* that you love reading as much as I do, and I can't wait to share more and more books that are near and dear to my heart.
Its not just reading your very good at either, you can count pretty much till someone stops you (at your kindergarten evaluation they had to stop you as you rounded the corner after one hundred and had no signs of stopping) When I asked the teacher if she thought there was anything she thought we may want to work on this summer she declared, "No! You have to leave us something to teach her!"



You fell in love with ballet this year, understandably, as it combines two of your favorite things in the world: dress up and pretending to be something else through movement. You watched a french documentary about ballerinas over and over, despite the fact that you could not understand a word of it. You loved watching the Nutcracker and the bits of ballets I could find. Every time a commercial for the movie Black Swan came on, you'd turn to me and sigh, "oh mama, doesn't that look beautiful?" We bought you some ballet records and you listen to them so often you were able to identify a Tchaikovsky piece off the radio the other day before even I could ("mama! its Cha-Coughsy!"). We were able to sign you for a dance class through school, though there was some ballet, it was not ballet focused. We took you to a free ballet event where you got to participate in a real ballet class and it was breathtaking watching you dance. That feels weird to say about a five year old, but your whole posture and demeanor changed the second you were in front of that teacher. You have such poise. Several people remarked to us about it and we had to admit that this was your first ballet class. You have such control and a natural intuition on how to move your body. You hold your head high, shoulders back, toes perfectly pointed. We're hoping to sign you up for a "real" ballet class this year, as we think its such a perfect outlet for you.

You are still our wild and crazy girl, constantly keeping us laughing and sighing and smiling and growling. Can't wait to see what the next year brings! Love you BIG squirrelly whirl!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wheat Thief

video

I had a mason jar of wheat out a few months ago. I eventually had to put it away because Carrots was determined to eat all of it. Today I kept hearing a cupboard slamming. Carrots found the wheat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Squirrel Rescue

On Sunday I got a frantic call from Josh that Carrots had brought a baby squirrel up onto the porch. After much drama, Josh got the squirrel down from the porch and onto a tree. We saw him up there at dusk that night, kind of flailing about, but he was too high up to do anything about, so we let him be.

Then, Monday morning, Parker had not closed the front door all the way (it was closed but not latched) and Carrots opened it and let himself out (he's getting too smart for his own good). Not ten minutes later he strolled into the kitchen and dropped the same poor little squirrel right at my feet. I threw Carrots in my room and grabbed a towel to pick up the squirrel in. To my surprise he ran to me and immediately snuggled into the towel, trying to get as close to me as possible. I put him in a box and started researching squirrels. I contacted as many squirrel rescues and wildlife refuges I could find in my area and waited to hear back from them. I also kept the kids away from him till I was sufficiently reassured that he did not in fact have rabies (squirrels never do) or the plague (hasn't been seen in years). A friend suggested we take him to a wildlife refuge near by, but we drove up there only to discover they were closed on Mondays. :( She gave me some supplies she uses when she is fostering newborn kittens so I could keep him hydrated till I found somewhere to take him.


He spent the rest of the day sleeping in his little towel nest. Around six that night we spotted an adult squirrel in the tree outside. Excited that it might be his mama, we put him in the lid of his box at the base of the tree and went inside where we could watch but the squirrel couldn't see us. The adult squirrel chattered and squacked at me while I was putting the baby down, so I was hopeful. But after forty five minutes and even after the baby climbed up the tree, the adult never got close to him and ran away. It was getting dark and he started to climb back down the tree, so I went to get him. He came to me right away and snuggled back into his towel. I gave him some pedialyte with an eyedropper and he went back to sleep. I finally heard back from Pacific Wildlife Project a rescue group in Laguna Niguel late last night. We waited for Fin to get home from school and then ran him over there and dropped him off. They were surprised he was a gray tree squirrel, we don't have a lot of them around here. He'll proabably be with the rescue for about another month and then they'll release him.

The kids have been playing "animal rescue" all afternoon

The kids and I have had some great conversations about why we can't keep wild animals, how its not fair to the animal and how they have to learn how to be wild, and live by themselves outside. They were bummed we couldn't keep him, but understood. It was neat for them to be able to see and touch him and hear his little squeaks and purrs. We've read a lot about squirrels and how they live. We're hoping the rescue group will keep us updated as they've promised and hope they'll let us know where they release him as well. Josh and the kids want them to release him back up here, so we can keep an eye on him. The kid's still talk about the baby hummingbird we rescued and every once in a while Parker will declare that she saw it. I'm sure the same thing will happen with the squirrel. I'm still a little sad we couldn't reunite him with his mama, and a part of me really wishes we could have rehabbed him ourselves, he was such a sweet little thing. I have to keep telling myself that he'll be happy and healthy and we did our best. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Birthday Hike

Last Saturday was Josh's birthday. We had made a few plans put they all fell through (its tough to have a birthday Memorial Day weekend!) so Friday night we decided to take a hike in the morning. I'd read about Dripping Cave in Aliso Woods on a hiking blog and wanted to check it out. So we headed out a little after nine with Uncle Trevor and Nanny. It was a perfect day for a hike, a little overcast in the morning, but once that burned off it was just gorgeous.

Not ten minutes into our hike and a jogger lept off the dirt path that runs a long the paved path Parker, Nanny and I were on. We all jumped when he finally spat out, "SNAKE!" and shakily pointed to where he just was. Sure enough, there was a BIG rattlesnake sunning itself across the path. "I almost stepped on it!" Poor guy nearly had a heart attack. The snake couldn't have been less interested in us, he never so much as flicked his tail. The boys totally missed the whole thing, as they had gone on up ahead.
There's his rattle

And his head

And his body

1 mile!

Photo op at the man-made waterfall you can't see in this pic

Fin at the top of Cave Rock (I love this picture!)

Small cave in Cave Rock

Poison (hemlock) never looked so pretty (Parker took this one)

And this one ("I'm gonna take a picture of my shoes cause I want to remember them Mama.")

A fairy and a Nanny

Dripping Cave - It was used by stage coach robbers, you can still see the black from their campfires on the ceiling of the cave





2.5 miles! It was about 5 miles roundtrip

The kids got tired on the last leg back. Daddy improvised.

It didn't work out so well for Parker

Halfway through the hike a man walked by with a big doberman. Parker stood about a foot away from him, pointed right in his face and loudly asked, "WHY DOES THAT GUY HAVE HIS DOG???" The guy turned bright red and sheepishly muttered, "I'm sorry...I didn't know..." Parker read all the signs coming in, including the one that said NO DOGS.

We wrapped up our day with lunch at Rubio's and then dessert at Powell's Candy Shop, the best candy shop ever. Every single candy you could ever dream of is crammed in this place. Josh got some huge cherry monstrosity, Parker swedish fish, Fin a jawbreaker on a stick (jaw-li-pop) and after my first attempt to leave with Sugar Daddy's was scornfully dismissed by a certain mother-in-law I left with caramel bullseyes. And she was totally right about the Sugar Daddys. ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fafafafa-fashion


For Mother's Day next week Fin's kindergarten class is staging a fashion show. They're supposed to pick an outfit and then we're supposed to come up with a clever little description ("Here's little Johnny all ready for a day at the beach!"). At dinner we were trying to figure out what Griffin wanted to wear. "I just want to wear something, like old fashioned? Like a button up shirt?" "Like...a cowboy?" I asked. "No, no, like like what they wore when they invented cars? Here, I'll show you!" And he ran into his room and came back with a book. He opened it to a page about Henry Ford. "Like this. I just think it'll be cool, 'cause no one else dresses like that."

I CAN NOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP

P.S. Anyone have a tiny bowler hat and duster?

P.P.S. Josh and I can NOT say "fashion" without belting out this song:


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Be Sure To Tip Your Waitress


Parker was playing with her modeling clay the other day and I snapped some pics. When I uploaded them I started making funny captions as I scrolled through. Parker was dying with laughter. Here's the entire scene that left her in stitches. Trust. I'm HUGE with the under five crowd. (and you miss a lot when you can't hear my impeccable duck accent and comedic timing)



And just because its awesome, here's P's hammerhead shark: