Thursday, September 27, 2012

NOT a Future Pro Disc Golfer

Remember how talented Will is with a disc? Granted, his skills jumped to a new level this summer, but he's had a decent throw and a solid understanding of the game since he was about three.

Last weekend the four of us hit one of our local disc golf courses for a round and while we were there we thought we'd check to see if Hallie has the same innate disc golf skills as Will does.

She doesn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


As if I wasn't already worried about how Hallie will turn out, I found this in her room last week.

Poor, poor Honey Bear never saw that pink belt coming.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Come Inside

Princess Hallie graciously invited me into her pink castle (a pink tent, in the shape of a castle), and though the castle is roughly the size of a coffee mug and lives in the poorly air conditioned (think 85 or so degrees when the rest of house is at a barely-tolerable 80 degrees) playroom, I agreed to join her.

It was as crowded and sultry as I expected it to be inside the castle, which must be why Hallie thought to put on her swimsuit ahead of time.

First we colored.

Then we got married, which involved "dancing witt itch udder" (dancing with each
other) and then kissing. Dancing was tough to do in the tent.

After our wedding I asked Hallie if I could take a few pictures of her. She agreed.
 Unfortunately the first picture looked kind of funny because she was chewing gum.

Hallie didn't take kindly to my request that she stop chewing her gum for just a minute.

Then Will photo bombed us.

I could only take about 12 minutes in the castle with Hallie, not because of anything she was doing (for the first time that week she was actually kind of sweet to me), but because the space was just too cramped and stuffy. She didn't want me to leave, until I told her that I was headed into the forest (kitchen) in search of Prince Charming (something to make for dinner), that is. Then she packed me a basket of bread and sent me on my way.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Piddy Pease?

"Piddy pease can I bring her home, Mama? Piddy pease?  I love her SOOOO much!"

It's getting harder and harder to say no...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


"Look at me, Mama...I look just like Princess Merida!"
They're like twins, separated at birth and by continents, centuries,
and the fact that one of them is a fictional cartoon.

"Look at me, Mama...I'm Princess Katniss!"
Not even close, kid.  Katniss isn't even a princess.
(Hunger Games fans are probably thinking that Hallie looks a little like Effie...I agree.)

I don't think it's a coincidence that Hallie has recently gravitated toward these two bow-and-arrow-wielding heroines; I expect she's looking for a way to simultaneously live the lush life of a princess and physically dominate her older and larger brother.  (For the record, all Hallie knows about Katniss is that she uses a bow and wears a braid, but apparently that's all one needs to be considered a princess in Hallie's eyes.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Clemmy and Tarzana

Will and Hallie were so excited to see Clemmy when we visited Grandpa Paul and Grandma Brenda (with whom Clemmy now lives, and where she will likely live out her days) this summer. Clemmy, on the other hand, was not at all excited to see Will and Hallie.
Back away from the cat.
One of the reasons Clemmy still lives with Grandpa and Grandma, after she and Duke first took up temporary residence with them (while we tried to sell our house in Ann Arbor) two years ago, is that she doesn't like kids. She was fine with - not necessarily nice to, but fine with - Tom and me, but once Will joined the mix Clemmy turned sour and spent most of her time trying to escape our warm, comfortable house for the wild and crazy world outside the side door. She also really likes Grandpa Paul - to the point that she obsesses over him and monopolizes his attention - so that, coupled with the fact that she doesn't like kids and the speculation that Will is allergic to cats, led to her temporary residence becoming her permanent residence. And this makes the kids sad.

When we arrived in Madison, Will and Hallie ran into the house, bursting with love for Clemmy. She hissed at them and darted down to the basement. They were crushed.

We were there for a month, and I honestly can't remember Clemmy letting either of them even pet her. She'd let me pet her, but only after everyone else had gone to bed; I could tell she remembered me, but would only come near me after my dad - her first choice of human companion - was no longer an option.

Hallie in particular was really sad about her relationship with Clemmy, until she met Tarzana.

Tarzana belongs to Helen/Heaven, and is like the most child-friendly cat on the planet. Hallie told me on more than one occasion that she was going to bring Tarzana home with us on the plane, and once I caught her dragging Tarzana across the alley from Helen's house into my parents' backyard.  My mom even warned Helen's mom that while we would try to prevent it, we were fairly certain Hallie was going to try to steal Tarzana and that if ever they couldn't find their beloved pet they should come knocking at my parents' backdoor.

The kids have started talking about pets quite a bit, probably because I take them to the Puppy Store at the mall at least every other week, but I'm still pretty against bringing one into the house right now.  I'm mildly allergic to dogs, Will's mildly allergic to cats, and I'm not too keen on adding extra work and cleaning to my already-crazy daily schedule.  We're thinking about getting Will a goldfish for his birthday though; maybe we'll name it Tarzana.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Days of School

Will started back to school (kindergarten!!) first:

Once we'd dropped Will off for his first day of kindergarten, Hallie (after melting down in the school cafeteria, not because she missed Will but because, mean mom that I am, I wouldn't let her stay in kindergarten herself) took what she believed to be her rightful place on the throne of our house. The kids fight over who gets to sit in this chair all the time, so when she realized she was the only kid at home, she climbed up, covered herself with a blanket, and ordered - yes ordered - me to get her a toy. I told her to get own toy.

An hour or so later, Tom's school year started:

And finally, eight LONG days later, Hallie's school year began. She insisted on wearing a bun in her hair, and couldn't manage to smile like an actual human being during her morning photo session:

Happy 2012-2013 school year!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another One

Another moment I'd love to hold on to:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


There are plenty of moments as a parent that I wouldn't mind fast forwarding through: changing wet sheets in the middle of the night, scrubbing "washable" marker off the furniture, public tantrums, sibling battles, three years old.

But there are also moments I'd like to freeze: bedtime hugs, hand holding, singing in the car, dancing in the living room, genuine smiles, hysterical laughter, spontaneous kindness and gratitude.

Every once in a while I capture one of these "pause" moments on camera.

That's as good as life gets.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Future Pro Disc Golfer

Will started tagging along when Tom played disc golf when he was five months old. A year later, when he was around a year and a half, Will started actually throwing discs alongside Tom. He didn't necessarily understand how the game was supposed to be played though, and would often tee off, pick up his disc, carry it to within five or so feet of the basket, and then toss the disc in "for a birdie".

This summer Will played a lot of disc golf, both with Tom here in Texas and with my dad and the camping uncles in Wisconsin. He has suddenly developed a forehand shot to be reckoned with (I'd call his shot "good" if he were an adult, but since he's only five I think it's safe to call his shot "amazing"), and has been working on what Tom calls "the putt of destiny". Will's disc golf skills are to the point now that when Tom takes him to the course, other adults gather round and watch him both tee off and putt, most not believing that he's five years old.

Tom took a few videos when they were playing last weekend, and while the videos aren't the best quality and aren't of Will's absolute best shots, they're fun documentation of his skills. If becoming a superhero doesn't work out, perhaps Will can become a professional disc golfer.

Teeing Off
He makes it look so effortless. When I tee off I look like a maniac, and even when throw the disc as hard as I can, it doesn't go as far as this shot of Will's does.

That's as close to going in without going in as your can get. I've literally never made a putt from that distance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Faces of Hallie

Hallie likes to "practice" her emotions, I think primarily so that when the winds change, she can switch gears from pleasant to furious or from excited to miserable before I have time to anticipate and therefore prepare for where she's headed next.

Here are her basic emotions, in her own words (please excuse the goose egg sprouting out of her forehead - she and the coffee table had a bit of a run-in this morning):

And here are a few more random emotions, again in her own words:

Super mad
Unfortunately I see "loud" and "super mad" more often than any other emotions these days...