Friday, April 17, 2015

Hop and Bean, year six

Every Spring I try to get Hopper and his dog Bean to pose together for photos, something we've done since both of them were babies at the same time and regularly swapped spit (immune system, for the win!).  Last year was really the first time I was able to do this without Hopper whining that he really just wanted a cat, ok?  A little gray fluffy one? And in the past few months, this begrudging acceptance that he is never (ever) going to get a cat has transformed into these wild (delusional) plans that he is going to somehow teach Mr. Bean, an animal who regularly tries to eat empty solid tin cans, how to do amazing circus acts so they can go on the road and live a life of adventure.

I've had to gently lower these expectations by explaining the following:

Mr. B cannot learn how to do handstands (because he does not have hands)
He probably won't be figuring out how to ride a bike (something Hop has also not yet mastered)
He doesn't know any knock knock jokes (worth telling)
He cannot cook peanut butter on toast (eats all the peanut butter before the bread is even crispy)
He is too fat to swing on the monkey bars (seriously, so fat)

It should show you how much personal growth there's been to find out that, despite all these Bean Shortcomings, Hopper loves him anyway. Here's to two six year old boys!

previous years:  here,  here also, some here, etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PD April

Well, this is just a photo dump post. I have lots to share, but not a whole lot of time to do it what with all the cleaning puppy pee and swim lessons and family visits.  I'm not complaining (except about the puppy pee), but I feel like I've missed out on telling you a whole bunch. So, I'll try to do that more this week. But in the meantime, I've got 1223 pictures on my phone and they're not going to delete themselves..

This is a photo of longhorns that I took at the Travis County Rodeo and Fair. Yes, I know, that was a month ago, shut up. Look how cool they are.

Yet another photo, in a long, looooonng series of photos where Bean is either very sad, very tired, or silently plotting my death.
This one has her adopt-a-versary this month.  Doesn't stop Sam from asking if we can "trade her in for a real dog" every chance he gets. C'mon, how can you resist this face?
Wildflowers are going CRAZY in Austin this month from our wet winter/spring. Of course, we don't actually have wildflowers in our yard, just a bunch of weeds when I don't mow for two weeks, but look how pretty!
My sisters came into town last weekend, so they got to have Hopper read books to them. This one is called "Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing" and I've had to hear it approximately 137 times in the last week.
I also took a picture of Kate with her mini-me, i.e. my son. That's ok, her kids look more like me than they do her. Genetics are weird.
I still am playing around with my remote shutter. Honestly, I really don't have an excuse for why I make that face so much. 


I promise at least two more posts this week! Pinky swear!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Hints of Blue

Winter was long and hard for us this year. I mean, I had to wear a heavy jacket all the way up til the 2nd week of March and I think that's just asking too much. My coat is not even that cute. Also, there was that one time when the temperature was hovering in the 30's and there was a chance of rain and they cancelled school. It was like in The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder where they had to burn twisted hay and eat only potatoes for seven months, except for more like HEB just kept running out of the green salsa I like when people thought we were going to get freezing rain (and never did).

At any rate, the Long Winter is over and the bluebonnets are peaking out. You know what that means:  time to torture the children. Luckily for me, it's way early in the bluebonnet game.  They were just barely popping up this weekend and I don't think they'll be in full bloom for another week or so. Plenty of time for reshoots!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hopperisms, redux

This has been quite a stellar week for Hopperisms, which I am happy to share, as always.

(To a complete stranger by the pool at the Y):  "I'm actually an excellent swimmer, except that I sink."  totally true, by the way

(appropos of nothing, on the way home from school): "Do you know what I like about the Batman Cartoon??  All the onomatopoeias!"

(To another complete stranger, this time in the checkout line at HEB): "Orange Juice is the only wine I'm allowed to drink."  also true.

(To his brother):  "Rowan, I think you should try to be like me when you grow up. You know, like Hopper, only a little bit more Rowan."

(Also to his brother):  "Rowan!  Let's cross the streams!" sadly, not a Ghostbusters reference: 

Yep. That's going in The File.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

What I like about SIX

In honor of Hopper's SIXTH birthday today, I asked him to come up with six things he really likes about himself. This ended up being about a three-day conversation because he kept coming up with things and telling me about them hours later, so I have attempted to condense them for you here:

me: So, now that you are gonna be six, what are the things you like about best about  Hopper?
H: Um, I have an engine. 
me: You do? 
H: Yes
me: What's it like?
H; It's fast and it has chrome pipes.

me: Ok, what else?
H: I can run speedy.
me: Is that because of your engine?
H: no, it's because I'm a speedy person. 

H: Also, I have a good nose.
me: You do have a great nose. 
H: I know, right?  

H: I'm also nice.
me: psssh, HA! who are you nice to?
H: Bryzza, George, and sometimes Rowan.
me: that's kind of a short list, so what else you got? 

H: I have good eyesight
me: and yet, you can't find the remote control six inches from your face
H: People say  I'm good at finding muddy puddles. 
me: Well, that is actually true. So you got that going for you. 

Happy Sixth Birthday to the Hopperest Hopper I know. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Dump!

Ok, I haven't done a photo dump in a while, but now I really have to because I'm about to flush my phone down the toilet (or blow it up. Or feed it to the orangutans at the zoo. Something destructive). My phone which is an iphone 4s  (I know, ancient) has apparently opted to stop recognizing wi-fi networks. Or more accurately, it will see some sort of network is there, but it won't connect to it. I searched and Sam searched and many people suggest that you download the latest ios update,  but you know what my phone likes to tell me when I try to do that?

that little *plink plink* noise you just heard was the sound of several hundred blood vessels popping in my eye. 

So, I'm probably off to get a new phone sometime in the next week or so. SO I have to get all these pix off because, psssh. Cloud? what's that?  Without further ado, here are some shots from February-ish.

This is from our visit to Pieous last Sunday. If you have not been to Pieous, may I highly recommend that you fix that. Holy. Cow. Is that place yummy. Just fyi, their Rocket Pizza is pretty much spot on to what we had when were in Tuscany, but EVERYTHING we ate was drool-worthy.

Hopper has discovered hair gel. My only problem is getting him to use a reasonable amount and by "reasonable" I'm talking: something south of Jersey Shore levels. This would be one instance where I failed. he's only mad at me b/c I wouldn't stop laughing at him. 

Most of the time the boys refuse to take photos, but every once in a while they like to pretend that they're going to pose for me and then they do this. I'm used to it. 

I woke up one morning to this. They told me they were having a tea party.  I didn't ask questions. 

My sister Robyn came down for the Austin Marathon (and for the boys' joint birthday). She bought them some wax lips for their Valentines Day goodie bags. So, um. We had to wear them. 

Oh! and we have a new foster baby. Her name is Shelby. She's a little redonk. 

I'm sure you'll be seeing more of her soon.  

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I don't think you're ready for this Jelly: a Valentine's Photo Shoot

So, you might remember that I have this aversion to store bought Valentines. I like to make them and I like to be creative. The only thing holding me back really is that I am not skilled at crafting things. "Not skilled", as in, I own a glue gun, but it has a safety lock on it. How lucky for me that my kids are reasonably cute when they're not covered in boogers or sporting a black eye. Also, they are still young enough to not insist on picking out their own Valentines and will occasionally consent to wearing props if I bribe them with Slurpees.

I was going to wait to show you these til next week, but then I thought maybe I should share in case you'd like to conduct your own Valentine's Photo Shoot in advance!  (she says. after she's had time to recover from this one).

Supplies Needed:

  • white drape (tablecloth or thick sheet) for backdrop
  • tacks to hold up the backdrop
  • red heart doilies (found at the Dollar Tree)
  • children scrubbed clean within an inch of their lives
  • Valentine's Wear:  for girls this is easy. For boys, good luck. I tried many things. This was about as "Valentiney" as they would go and I had to up the Slurpees to Large. Red Suspenders bought at consignment store; glasses at Dollar Tree, other items scrounged from closet
  • camera*
  • patience. lots of patience
*I should specify that you should probably use a digital camera with a large capacity SD card because if you have an experience anything like mine, you will take 283 photos and end up with about 7 of them that are usable.

First we have Hopper. He was not happy with either hairstyling skills or my attempts at making him try different poses. He's also at that stage that I think a lot of little kids hit where they react to being made to take photos by doing that thing where they sort of raise their eyebrows, squint their eyes and put their top and bottom teeth together in a death mask rictus that makes me pop a blood vessel in my eye. So. These are what were left:

this one cracks me up so much

But at last! An honest to goodness smile.

Next, Rowan. Oh Rowan. I have so, SO many pictures of him doing something like this. This is quintessential Rowan, right here. He didn't like the glasses very much.
But then, THEN, he decided to get a little cute. It took me til probably shot #216 to get here, but we got here. Little turd.

And then I had to stop and drink a bottle of wine.  I'm just kidding, it was like 10 in the morning, I waited til 11:30 to open it up.  Plus, I still had to get shots of them TOGETHER. God help me. They did a lot better at this once I let them ditch the glasses. I think I have like maybe 2 shots of them wearing the glasses and in both of them Hopper is making that face and I cannot take that face. THESE faces, however... I have to admit, pretty darn cutemas.

So, there you have it, you still have 10 days to go forth and do your own Valentines photo shoot to make homemade Valentines with love. You can even buy yourself a Slurpee if you're good.