Sunday, January 25, 2015


I bet you thought I forgot all about this week's photo dump didn't you? Well, yes. Yes, I did. So, we're going to pretend today is yesterday and carry on.

First, you may have heard we got the boys a trampoline for Christmas. It says very clearly on the instructions that you're not supposed to let one kid on the trampoline at time. I'm ignoring this. I want to know if the makers of these trampolines have ever tried to tell a 4 year old (or an almost 6 year old) they need to sit quietly and wait for their brother to finish jumping. Yeah. Good luck with that. Though our Trip to the ER countdown might be a lot longer if this one would stop swan diving straight onto his face.

Here is a shot of Rowan eating birthday cake. I don't he liked it. 

Hopper likes to make "art" with his food. He called this one "Bunny Burger"

If you're looking for a puppy picture this week, this is as close as you'll get. The puppy is on a Sleep Over. Possum is not pleased. We did manage to make a 12 pack of toilet paper last an entire week without the puppy around, so we've got that going for us. 

The boys got to hang with their Grampa Mike today. 

Hop climbing a tree next to the Doc's on Brodie. Right after I took this, he got stuck and asked for me to call the fire department. 

Since that branch was about 5 feet off the ground, I deferred. 

The weather this coming week is supposed to be my Happy Weather (75 degrees in January), so I'll be looking to take a lot more shots of my boys hurtling out of trees. Good times. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FOUR by Ro

This one is four today. I know, right? This handsome little turd.

It's hard to describe the fourishness that is Rowan, so I'm going to let him answer a few questions for you. 

What's your favorite color?  Yellow
Really? I thought it was blue?  It's blue (laughs)
What's your favorite Animal?  Octopus
What's your favorite food? Dinosaur Chicken

What's your favorite song?   O'Malley (the Alley Cat)
Who is your best friend?  Valentine, but she's a girl. 
So,who is your best friend who's a boy?  Hoppah

What do you want to be when you grow up?  An astronaut that goes into outer space and has a dog.
So, the dog is an astronaut too?  No, the dog is just a dog. But he goes into outer space. 

What is your super power?  I can turn my hands into lollipops. 
That might get a little sticky, do you have another superpower? No. But I can fly. 

Where is your favorite place to visit?  the Farm
What is your favorite TV Show?  Pup Control.
Paw Patrol? No, Pup Control
I think it's called "Paw Patrol"?  No, it isn't. 

What kind of cake are you going to have for your birthday?  It's going to be made of stars and chocolate icing. 

  Do you know how old you are today?  Four. 
Is that very old?  Yeah, mama, I'm almost TWENTY-FIVE. 

Yes, that is true, but you still have to take naps. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weekly Pix

Another Saturday, another attempt to get 800 pictures off of my phone.

In this weeks news, Sam bought the boys a drum set. We had previously talked about getting Hopper a table top electric drum kit, so when I was half asleep and he told me he was heading up to Leander to buy drums, I wasn't worried. I probably should have worried.

This is Hopper carrying in one of the thingies (yes, I know they're called "drums," What I mean is one is a rat tom and one is a bass and one is something else, right? See, I've watched my fair share of Yo Gabba Gabba, I know things).

And here are the boys with it all set up. What you can't tell because it isn't video is that Hopper had just yelled to Rowan, "C'MON ROWAN, LET'S ROCK AND ROLL!"  What I didn't notice until after the photo was taken was that Rowan was a little more, uh, "rock & roll" than I had anticipated. Mr. "That's Enough Pants." 

Later on in the week, I got a nice little stomach bug that meant I spent all day Thursday hunched in a fetal position on the couch. The boys apparently went to a bar. (this photo courtesy of Someone Else who I would totally give credits to if I knew who my husband had forwarded it from). 

At some point this week, I had to go to the Dollar Store to get some valentine-y things. They had a selection of women's fragrances in the Valentines aisle. I had no idea that the Dollar Tree carried women's fragrances. I'm really sad that my photo is off center and you can't fully tell that one of these is named "Posture."  I do love "Nice Lady" FOR WOMEN. Glad they cleared that up. 

Here is yet another photo of Possum and Shay having it out in the backyard right before they chase each other for 45 solid minutes. These two have the prissiest dog fights known to man. 

Later on, Shay got a bath. She's only 4 1/2mths old, but I'd say she's got that look of total betrayal down pat. 

And here is a photo of Rowan looking giant. He turns Four in three days. I'm not ready. 

That's all for now. More next week!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

This is my Resolution

So, I don't know if you remember a few months ago when I decided I needed to delete some photos off of my iphone so that things might actually start functioning on it.  At the time, I had something like 2800 pictures stored and it was only like August or something.  At the end of the year, I ended up having to take more off and saw how many of them there were all added up in one folder. I think the total number of photos on my phone was something like 5300--close to that. Which is ridiculous, I understand. That means that I easily take at least 100 photos a week.  Sometimes it's because I'm holding the shutter down so I can take a whole bunch with the hope that in at least one of them, Rowan isn't shouting NO FUNTOS at me. Sometimes I'm taking pictures at the store of something I'm going to try and remember later, like when my kid picks out any of the million Ninja Turtle action figures and it has to be THAT ONE. No! the one AFTER he takes the mutagen and his head falls off, that one, Mom. Anyway. My point is, I take a lot of photos, some of which are great and others being ones that I'm flipping through months later asking myself why I have 15 pictures of my dog's butt.  So, I'm taking some steps to help curb this issue I have and trying to get more organized with it.

Step One: buy a wifi SDcard for my actual camera so that I don't use my iphone for everything. Up until a week or so ago, I had no idea these existed, but now that I do, it will be mine as soon as Amazon ships it.  Happy New Year to me!  Step Two:  I'm making an attempt to clear off my phone every week. So, every Sunday, I'm going to spend an hour or however long it takes, going through that week's photos and either deleting, sharing with you here or.. well, deleting some more.
Without further ado, here is your first weekly photo dump.

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE. It's almost as if none of them ever decide it's too cold and rainy outside, so they'll just poo somewhere in the house instead.

Possum being pissy about having to wear a jacket.

Hudson. With Static Cling. 

Small child with bagel. 

This is what happens when Hopper attempts to do Duck Lips in a picture. It's genetic, I swear.  His black eye is still impressive, but here it just looks like he's doing a Liza Minelli impersonation. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just Us and the Elk

Plotting and planning this Christmas was a little more involved for my family because,while we had all the normal gift buying and decorating, we also were sort of looking at the calendar and wincing because it was the first without my mom. Most people I know fall into one or the other camp: either you do Christmas up big or you don't. It should clue you in that my mom was the type of person who started getting panicky if she didn't have all her presents bought by July and wrapped by Halloween.
 When I was a kid, my mom was president of the Altar Society at our church, which is like the ladies' version of the Knights of Columbus which is like the Catholic version of the Shriners, without the tiny clown cars. Or maybe they have clown cars in some cases, it could happen. At any rate, so my mom was president of the Altar Society and she decided that as her big project, she would "adopt" a nursing home and give all the residents of the nursing home gifts so they wouldn't feel neglected or forgotten on Christmas. Which was a sweet idea, right? Except my mom couldn't pick and choose WHICH nursing home would benefit of the three that were somewhat close to the church, so she ended up adopting ALL of them. She would spend months buying things on sale like handkerchiefs or socks or sweet smelling handsoap and lotions, coffee cups, slippers--just little things, but like, HUNDREDS of them, to the point our living room, then dining room would just be filled. I know there were hundreds of them because guess who had to wrap them all? That's right, my sisters. (I am shit at wrapping, I was in charge of taking off price tags). And then we'd deliver these hundreds of presents to these nursing homes. Every year. Just because my mom believed that everyone should have something to open on Christmas, even if they're 90 years old and had no one.
My sister and I came up with a plan that we would try to have everyone together on Christmas. This hardly ever happens. I live out of state, everyone works different hours, everyone's got in-laws or other obligations.. We thought that if we maybe rented a place where we could all just BE TOGETHER without any of that stuff, we could just make it through this one shit year. So we rented a lodge in the Ozarks that sleeps 30 people and headed up to the middle of nowhere. Like no cell service unless you walked 30 paces to the left and held your phone up high nowhere. It was us, and like, 50 elk (don't worry, they slept outside).
When we stepped into the lodge on the first day, one of my nephews yelled, "OH MY GOD, WE'RE STAYING AT THE CRACKER BARREL." Which was... pretty accurate, actually.  Then we just spent the next three days being a family. We missed my mom, cried a little, ate and drank a LOT. Played Bingo and Cards Against Humanity. Hiked and had a Frozen Sing-a-Long. Read Leonard Nimoy poetry.  I even got my eyebrows shaped by my niece (and they're quite lovely, I might add). It was one of the best Christmas's I think I've ever had.

Bonnie would have approved, I think, though I'm pretty sure she was there the whole time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Olaf and Bjorn

When the boys were babies and even last year, I didn't really have to worry about hiding their Christmas gifts. Unless it was on the floor or shaped like a robot, they honestly did not notice that the guest room closet was crammed full of stuff.  So, this year, admittedly, I was a little lax. I had two big gift bags just hanging out on top of my dresser. They didn't even notice them for at least two weeks. But then one night as they're both lying in my bed, Hopper spotted them. "WHAT'S THAT!"  I scrambled and came up with the best off the cuff excuse I could think of with 2 seconds notice:  "THEY'RE NOT FOR YOU."  Well, if they aren't for us then who are they for, they wanted to know. This is where my excuse starts getting a little wobbly. I made up two cousins that they've never met before named Olaf and Bjorn. They live in distant country that you can only reach by canoe, so that's why they've never even heard of them. But, you see, Olaf and Bjorn are just about the same ages and seem to like the same kinds of things as the Hovland boys. But these presents right here? THEY'RE NOT FOR YOU. Judge if you must. It worked.
Then today, I had to do a lot of shopping for these families that my company is sponsoring for the holidays. My car was literally loaded down with toys and clothes in every possible inch. The Mazda 5 was bulging with presents. I go to pick up Rowan and when he sees the back of the car, his eyes get huge.
Now, buddy, I told him, these aren't for you, ok?  These are for some other kids.

"OH." he says, "Olaf and Bjorn?"
"um, sure?" (why not)
"Mommy, You're gonna need a REEEAALLY big canoe."

Friday, December 12, 2014


This is one of those mom posts where I think my kid is funny, but you may roll your eyes as needed. I can't help it, he cracks me up.

Every afternoon, I pick up Hopper from school first because his school is so close to my office. So, we have about a 15-20 minute drive to Rowan's daycare which I always use to pick his brain about his day. I used to just veg out and let him play a game or watch a video. That was until I found out from his teacher that he'd had lunchtime detention (or whatever the kindergarten version of it is) for an entire week and he hadn't told me because (and I quote), "Oh that. That was a secret." i.e. there is no downtime with this kid. You just gotta get him talking and hope to god you pick up any blips on the horizon before they send him off to the Merchant Marines (or whatever the kindergarten version of it is).  In the course of these conversations, there's always some prime Hopper going on. A sampling from this week:

Me: What did you learn in class today?
H: We made an Activity Scene!
Me: An Activity Scene? What's that?
H:Well, there's a gigantic star that sparkles and a baby king, and his crib is made out of wood and hay, but it's ok,  he's got a comfy yellow blanket.
Me: Was there anyone else there?
H: Oh yes. There was a guy with a goat and a king named Belafonte.
Me: ummm...
H: and his mom and dad were there wearing snuggies. And they all got together for a dance celebration doing the Hookie Lau.


H: Mom, tomorrow I'm going to paint your car with green flames on the sides.
Me: well...
H: and a dragon on the front hood. And we'll put big tires on here like a monster truck.
Me: ummm....
H: and some big lights up top.
Me: why are we doing this again?
H: 'cause then it will be almost cool.  (ed. note: it's a mazda 5, so, you know, not likely)


H: what do you call it when there's a puppet that's a machine that moves?
Me: uhhhhhh (thinking wildly),  Animatronic???
H: YEAH. Animatronic.
five minutes later--
H: Mom?  Can I get an animatronic triceratops costume?


Saturday, December 06, 2014

Lists Have Been Delivered

One of the reasons why we wanted to make sure that our Lists for Santa were completed by this weekend is because, every year, my company puts on a Breakfast with Santa for all the littles. I told the boys that they could deliver their lists to Santa directly instead of relying on the postal service because who even knows what postage to the North Pole is going for these days. They thought this was a much more sensible plan,  and also, there are donuts. 

So, we got our Christmas gear on and waited for Santa to show up

Hopper took this delivery very seriously, and I must say, did a very good job of being patient waiting his turn. Though in this shot you can clearly see him silently urging the kids already in Santa's lap to just get a move on already, for crissakes. 

FINALLY (after 2 whole minutes, it was a short line), it was our turn. Here Rowan is explaining to Santa that we brought him a list. 

Actually, Hopper pointed out, it's TWO lists.

Then comes the portion where they have to READ the lists to Santa. 

To be fair, Santa thought that Rowan's list said "box," not "BOAT." So Ro had to set him straight on that one. 

And then Hopper had to explain exactly what kind of exercise bike he wanted. (the kind where you pump your arms and pedal at the same time)

At this point, the line has grown because this all takes a while. So, we just had them hop on Santa's lap real quick while I take 500 shots, in which neither of them are ever looking at the camera, not once.  Ah well. At least we saved on postage. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lists Have Been Made

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we've had pumpkin pie for breakfast three days in a row (what?), the boys decided it was time to finalize their lists for Santa.  Since Hopper is the only kid in this joint who can write, he did most of the heavy work, while Rowan directed. 

And Directed. 

And directed some more. 

Hopper struggles a little bit with handwriting due to some hand strength issues we found out about when he was around 3. He's been in OT since then, so I gotta tell you, it makes my heart grow about twelve sizes to see him working so hard and doing so well with this. Even if his motivation is that someone, somewhere will be sucker enough to buy him nunchucks. 

 Here Rowan is trying to decide between putting down "robot" or "boat" (hint: he went with both). 

This was a long arduous process. At least 15 minutes or so. 

In the end, this is what they came up with:

Rowan:  Train, dinosaur, boat, teddy bear, robot (and he reserves the right to ask for any and all of the same turtle stuff that Hopper asked for, but in blue)

Hopper:  Turtle Mask Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle variety--Red, boxing gloves, exercise bike (don't ask, it was a long walk through Academy Sports), nunchucks, spinning star, BatCave

 So, there you have it. I have attempted to put these things on an Amazon list for each kid if any family would like that link; however, if any of you actually buy my 5 year old a spinning star, I will throw it at you. Let the Holidays Begin!